Guyanese-JFK Airport Bomb Plotter Gets Maximum Penalty

Abdel Nur was one of four Caribbean men charged in connection with the plot that was hatched by Guyana-born US citizen Russell Defreitas in January 2006. Defreitas, a former cargo handler at JFK International Airport, and another Guyanese Abdul Kadir, who had been a politician in his home country for decades and served as mayor of the second largest city Linden, were found guilty last August after a one-month trial that Nur avoided by pleading guilty a day before it began. 

Their plan had been to detonate fuel tanks and the fuel pipeline under the airport. But the plot was foiled in the planning stages with the aid of a US government informant. 

According to a report carried on Caribbean360, “Prosecutors presented evidence that Nur provided material support to the plot by attempting to locate al Qaeda explosives expert Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah, and by introducing the plotters and presenting the plot to Yasin Abu Bakr, leader of the militant Muslim group, Jamaat Al Muslimeen that had tried to overthrow the Trinidad and Tobago government in 1990. They said that mastermind Defreitas had recruited the others to join his plot during multiple trips to Guyana and Trinidad.”

The news report further indicated that, “Nur’s defence lawyer contended that his client was never a driving force in the plot and was mostly a “lackadaisical participant who provided minimal and ineffectual material assistance.” He also argued that his client had taken part in the plot for financial and not ideological reasons, submitting that Nur “lived on the economic fringes” of a developing country.”

Seven months after admitting to providing support to terrorists, Nur – who is said to be suffering from lung cancer – was sentenced to 15 years. 

US District Judge Dora Irizarry described the 61-year-old as “a dangerous person”, and in delivering her judgment, she expressed that, “This plot was intended to cause great economic harm to the United States and to cause death and serious physical injury to countless people.” 

Nur’s lawyer, Daniel Nobel, had asked Irizarry for a shorter sentence, since his client was ailing, noting that the maximum sentence would therefore be a death sentence. However, she instead advised the defence attorney that an application for Nur’s release from prison could be made if it was determined that his death from illness was imminent. 

Kadir was sentenced to life in prison while Defreitas is scheduled to be sentenced on February 17. The fourth defendant, Trinidadian Kareem Ibrahim, will have a separate trial in April, granted because of a medical condition.


(Content for this article was lifted from Caribbean360)

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