Newsday : Suspect in JFK Airport plot says he's not involved

Monday, January 21, 2008

Suspect in JFK Airport plot says he's not involved

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS | January 21, 2008

GEORGETOWN, Guyana - A former Guyanese legislator accused of conspiring to attack Kennedy Airport told local television he was not involved in the alleged plot despite pressure from an informant and another suspect to join.

"They kept coming back, and I kept telling them I was not interested," Abdul Kadir, a former Guyanese opposition legislator, said in his most extensive interview since his June arrest in Trinidad along with two others.

Kadir and the two other suspects are being held in Trinidad pending a judge's decision on whether they can be extradited to the United States to face charges. A ruling is expected Jan. 31. A fourth suspect, Russell Defreitas, 64, of Brooklyn, is in U.S. custody.

In an interview with Guyana's Capitol News, Kadir denied taking part in what U.S. authorities said was a plot to blow up the jet fuel supply line to Kennedy.

"I was never part of any conspiracy or plan to commit terrorism against the U.S.," he said. "It never crossed my mind." The full interview is expected to be broadcast today.

Excerpts were aired over the weekend and a partial transcript released to The Associated Press. Kadir spoke from behind glass at a Trinidadian prison with a reporter from his hometown of Linden.

The suspects have made similar claims of innocence in brief comments to reporters and supporters as they have been led in and out of court.

Kadir said the informant and Defreitas, a Guyana native who worked as a cargo handler at the airport until 1995, approached him repeatedly for help with the plot, but he turned them down.