NEW YORK — Two men were convicted Monday of plotting to blow up jet fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a plan that authorities said was meant to outdo the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and avenge perceived U.S. oppression of Muslims around the world.
Russell Defreitas, a former JFK cargo handler, and Abdul Kadir, once a member of Guyana's parliament, were convicted of multiple conspiracy charges. Kadir was acquitted of one charge, surveillance of mass transportation.
Defreitas, a 66-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Guyana, and Kadir, 58, were arrested in 2007 after an informant infiltrated the plot and recorded them discussing it.
Prosecutors said Defreitas and Kadir wanted to kill thousands of people and cripple the American economy by using explosives to blow up the fuel tanks and the underground pipelines that run through an adjacent Queens neighborhood.