Russell Defreitas




Paul L. Williams, Ph.D.

Russell Defreitas, 67, a US citizen born in Guyana, and Abdul Kadir, 58, a resident of Guyana, have been found guilty of conspiring to blow up buildings, fuel tanks and pipelines at the JFK Airport in the New York City borough of Queens.

The two jihadi wannabees, who were arrested in June 2007, now face up to life in prison.

Defreitas, who had worked at the airport, provided knowledge of its facilities and layout, US prosecutors said, while Kadir, an engineer, helped with technical aspects such as how to blow up the buried fuel pipelines.

Defense attorneys for the men portrayed them as all bluster and no substance. Prosecutors said Defreitas and Kadir did more than just talk and “took concrete steps to make this plan a reality.”

But few in the courtroom could deny that the two Muslims who sought to kill thousands of Americans and to cripple the US economy were victims of entrapment.

The JFK plot was conceived not by a radical Islamic group but rather by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

It was engineered, as court records show, by an attempt to capture Adnan el Shukrijumah, the Most Wanted Terrorist in the Western hemisphere.

Shukrijumah, a native American, has been singled out by al Qaeda to spearhead the next attack on American soil – – an attack that has been labeled “the American Hiroshima” by FBI Director Robert Mueller and other intelligence officials.

The search for Shukrijumah got underway in March 2003 with the arrest of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed in Pakistan and the information on his computer that the American jihadi, who allegedly received nuclear training at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, was singled out to serve as the next Muhammad Atta.

A $5 million reqard was placed on Shukrijumah’s head, a 24 hour hotline for information concerning his whereaboutrs was established, and special FBI office to supervise the massive manhunt was set up in southern Florida.

In April 2003, the FBI learned that Shukrijumah had made his way to Guyana, the homeland of his Muslim father.

In Georgetown, Guyana, Shukrijumah came under the protection of Farouk Razac, a family friend and well-heeled financier.

He was spotted at the Swiss House Cambio, Razac’s money exchange, by several witnesses, including George Bacchus, a law enforcement informant.

At the Cambio, Shukrijumah met one of Razac’s closest clients – – Imam Muhammed Hassan Abrahemi, the director of the International Islamic College for Advanced Studies, a small Shiite school in Georgetown that received large amounts of revenue from the government of Iran.

Abdul Kadir

He became acquainted with Abdul Nur, a civil engineer, who ran errands for Razac; Abdul Kadir, who served as the assistant director at Abrahemi’s Islamic College; and Russell Defreitas, a member of the Guyanese Parliament and leader of Jamaat ul-Muslimeen.

This new association would produce a trial of corpses leading to a plot to a botched FBI sting and an attempt to blow up the fuel line that feeds the JFK International Airport in New York.

The first victim was Abrahemi, who was kidnapped by two masked men as he was leaving the Islamic College on April 2, 2004. Several days later, his body was discovered within a shallow grave on the outskirts of Georgetown. The hit appeared to be professional. Abrahemi had been shot twice in the back of the head while assuming a kneeling position. His mouth had been taped shut with duct tape, and his hands and feet were bound by nylon cords. The perpetuators of the crime have never been caught.

By this time, the FBI had managed to infiltrate Jamaat ul-Muslimeen and made use of undercover agents to pose as jihadis and to work with Nur, Kadir, and Dufreitas in an attempt to lure the elusive Shukrijumah into a trap.

The undercover agents provided the terrorist group with money and logistical support, compliments of US taxpayers, to launch a plot to blow up a system of jet fuel supply tanks and pipelines that feed fuel to the JFK International Airport in Queens, New York.

Later, U. S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskoff would appear before the press to say that the planned attack represented “one of the most chilling plots imaginable” – – a plot which might have caused “unthinkable devastation.”

In reality, the plot was a ploy since exploding the fuel tanks represented a technical impossibility. Jet fuel does not produce explosive force, and the pipelines and fuel tanks that are buried beneath Queens have safety valves to prevent any mishap.[i]

The FBI had assumed that a well-oiled scheme to blow up a massive international airport and an entire borough of Manhattan would lure Shukrijumah from his hiding place. The assumption proved to be incorrect. Shukrijumah failed to appear at any of planning sessions in Trinidad and Guyana, and the federal officials were left not only with a hefty bill for the cockamamie scheme but also the creation of a new and financially flush arm of Jamaat ul-Muslimeen.

Nur, Kadir, Dufreitas and Kareem Ibrahim, a fourth operative, were taken into custody albeit several the arrests were a result of entrapment.[ii] “We thought he could be the invisible hand. He’s always in the shadows, particularly in [the Caribbean]. He’s passed through it, he’s known, his name came up in the conversations. He would have been the prize,” an FBI official later confirmed.

On May 7, 2007, two months after the airport plot went array, Farouk Razac was found dead in his Georgetown home with a wound to his head and marks around his neck. An autopsy report concluded that he had died of asphyxiation due to ligature strangulation. Carol Ann Lynch, Razac’s wife, was later charged with the homicide but few observers believed that the petite Lynch, who served as the reigning Miss South America, was capable of the crime.[iii]

Meanwhile, federal officials remain at a loss to locate the country’s leading terror suspect.

[i] Mark Carltan, “JFK Airport Plot Failed and Flawed,” The Age(Australia), June 4, 2007.

[ii] Adam Goldman, “Feds Foil JFK Plot; 4th Suspect Sought,” ABC News, June 2, 2007.

[iii] “Beauty Queen Charged with Husband’s Murder,” Stabroek News, May 11, 2007.

This entry was posted in Adnan Shukrijumah, Crime and Punishment and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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