PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad - Kennedy Airport terror plot suspect Abdel Nur, looking disheveled and exhausted, turned himself in to Trinidad and Tobago police at a small police station outside the capital at midday yesterday.
Nur, 57, denied any involvement in the terror plan as he made his way into the offices of magistrate Lianne Lee Kim in Diego Martin, west of the capital. "It's a setup," Nur said on his way into the station, according to a police source. "It's a setup."
Nur, a Guyanese citizen who entered Trinidad May 20, was one of four people the U.S. named in a 33-page criminal complaint that accused them of plotting to blow up fuel-handling facilities at Kennedy Airport.
The sprawling plot involved people in Queens, Guyana and Trinidad, according to the complaint, and raised concerns that terrorism could become an unwelcome export to the United States from this island nation of 1.1 million people just off the Atlantic coast of South America.
The complaint, filed by Robert Addonizio, a detective-inspector with the Kings County District Attorney's Office in New York assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force, said plotters had hoped to bring about the destruction of "the whole of Kennedy" and to cause a fire inside a jet fuel pipeline that runs through the city so that "part of Queens would explode."
Trinidad and Tobago police arrested two other men, Trinidad citizen Kareem Ibrahim and Abdul Kadir of Guyana, over the weekend. They and Nur are being held without bond pending a hearing Monday, police spokeswoman Wendy Campbell said. The plot's alleged mastermind, Russell Defreitas of Brooklyn, is being held without bond in New York.
Police in Trinidad said Nur, who wore a grey Reebok T-shirt, black slacks and open-toed sandals, turned himself in peacefully after being on the run since the others were arrested. He had been the subject of an intense manhunt on the two islands that make up this country a few miles off the coast of Guyana, and police had warned citizens to consider him armed and dangerous.
The U.S. federal complaint said that, according to the plan, Nur was to travel from Guyana to Trinidad and arrange a meeting with someone who could help make the terror plot a reality. He and the others hoped to enlist the aid of Jamaat al Muslimeen, a Muslim organization that took the country's prime minister and members of his Cabinet hostage during an abortive coup attempt in 1990, according to the complaint. The organization has denied any involvement with the Kennedy Airport plot.
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