Testimony given during the trial of the two men authorities said plotted to set off a bomb at Kennedy International Airport offered chilling details of what they hoped to pull off.
The trial, which opened last week, saw a witness testify that defendants Russell DeFreitas and Abdul Kadir planned a blast that would “blow through the airport and through to Queens.”
Those were the words of Donald Nero, a witness who said he was involved in the initial stages of the plan with DeFreitas and Kadir, according to published reports.
Prosecutors said the men believed that blowing up fuel tanks at JFK would set off a series of explosions along a fuel pipeline running through much of the city.
Nero testified that he attended several early meetings with people allegedly involved in the plot, but eventually got cold feet.
Before Nero backed out of the plot, he said he heard discussions about seeking support from high-ranking al Qaida terrorist Adnan Shukrijumah, implicated this week in another plot to bomb subways in Manhattan.
DeFreitas and Kadir were charged in 2007 with conspiracy to attack a public transportation system, conspiracy to destroy a building with fire and explosives, conspiracy to attack aircraft and aircraft materials, conspiracy to destroy an international airport and conspiracy to attack a mass transportation facility. Kadir was also charged with surveillance of a transportation facility.
A third defendant, Abdul Nur, pleaded guilty last week to providing material support to terrorists All three men are Guyanese nationals
Defense lawyers for the two, however, said they were not aspiring terrorists describing one man as an empty boaster and the other as little more than a bystander.
The defense lawyers for both men said they were encouraged and assisted in the plot by government informants who had infiltrated the group that was plotting the attack.
Meanwhile, The imam from Queens tied to last years subway terror plot has been deported. A court had ordered Ahmad Afzali, an Afghan native and legal U.S. resident, to leave the country.
Afzali pleaded guilty to lying to federal investigators about telling Najibullah Zazi, the admitted mastermind of a plot to bomb the subway system, that investigators were on to him. He was deported to Saudi Arabia, where his wife lives and works.