FBI informant crucial to terror plot probe; Inmate provided help to reduce his prison sentence

When the alleged ringleader of the plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport befriended a man willing to help him get funding and explosives, Russell Defreitas told his new pal that he had been "sent by Allah" to complete the job...

The next day, and several times during the next week, the source and Defreitas went on scouting trips to JFK to determine the best way to attack the airport. But their visits also were videotaped by law enforcement agents who had been tipped off by the source about the planned expeditions.

Their budding plot seemed to suffer a setback on Feb. 28 when Defreitas and the source flew from Guyana to JFK in New York and were subjected to an extensive search at the border-control point.

Federal agents copied Defreitas' personal phone book, with the names and numbers of other plotters. The men feared their plans had been found out.

That gave some of the suspects cold feet and slowed their efforts to find desperately needed financial backers. They were seeking money from the leader of an Islamic group in Trinidad when police moved in to break up the plot.

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