US & Canada

Abdel Nur sentenced in New York JFK airport fuel plot

The outside of a terminal at JFK airport
Image caption The plotters intended to blow up fuel tanks at JFK and pipes that run through a nearby neighbourhood

A US court has sentenced a militant from Guyana to 15 years in jail for taking part in a plot to blow up fuel tanks at New York's JFK airport.

Abdel Nur pleaded guilty last year to providing support for the plot planned by Russell Defreitas and Abdul Kadir, a former member of Guyana's parliament.

Kadir and Russell Defreitas, who worked at JFK, reportedly intended to kill thousands of people in the 2007 scheme.

Kadir, 58, was sentenced to life in prison last month.

Trinidad connection

Nur, 60, attempted to locate an al-Qaeda explosives expert and introduce Kadir and Defreitas, a former airline cargo worker from Guyana who became a naturalised US citizen, to a leader of a militant group in Trinidad, court documents said.

"Nur believed that the attack would cause extensive damage to the airport and to the New York economy, as well as the loss of numerous lives," the US justice department said after the sentencing on Thursday in New York City.

Kadir and Defreitas, who began preparations for the attack in 2006, planned to use explosives to blow up fuel tanks and underground pipes that run through a nearby neighbourhood, the court said.

The scheme was uncovered when an informant recorded a discussion about the planned attack between Kadir and 67-year-old Defreitas.

A US District Court judge said last month that the plot, which Kadir and Defreitas thought would shake the US economy, would have caused "unimaginable" devastation.

Kareem Ibrahim, a fourth alleged member of the scheme, was previously found too ill to stand trial. He faces the same charges as Defreitas and Kadir and is due in court in April.

Defreitas's sentencing is scheduled for February.

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