Saturday, June 02, 2007

Terror Plot Foiled At JFK Airport

Scroll down for updates.

Pardon me. Alleged terror plot. This is from Fox News, by the way.

Three people arrested and one still being sought in a plot to explode a fuel line that feeds the airport and runs through residential neighborhoods. It seems that, once again, the plot was foiled while still in the planning stages. It also seems that, if executed, the plan had the potential to kill a lot of people:
The New York suspect was identified as Russell Afreitas, a former JFK employee who allegedly planned to attack the airport's fuel supply because he thought he could do more damage than attacking a passenger terminal. Afreitas is a Muslim U.S. citizen from Guyana.
I'm sure that's just a coincidence. Not worth mentioning, really.

Interesting. Here's CNN's report on the arrest. Note how they handle the ethnicity of the suspects:
An official described the suspects as "al Qaeda wannabes."

One suspect, a U.S. citizen who is a native of Guyana and who once worked at the airport, was described by a source as "a very angry Muslim extremist."
Wannabes. Just a bunch of silly little terror poseurs, really. And of course, the suspect is a very angry Muslim extremist.

Also note how the story handles the question of the danger posed by the plot:
Rep. Peter King, R-New York, said law enforcement had had the plot "under control" for some time.

Another law enforcement official said the plot was never "fully operational."

Hey, I'm glad the authorities were on the ball with this, but let's not forget that there was in fact a plot to, you know, kill a lot of people.

But wait, it get's better. Here's the incident as reported by the venerable AP:
The plot, which never got past the planning stages, did not involve airplanes or passenger terminals, according to the two officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because details of the arrests had not yet been announced.

The plot posed no threat to air safety or the public, the FBI said Saturday.

We keep hearing the plot didn't target airplanes or passenger terminals, but we already know from the Fox report that's because Mr. Afreitas felt targeting the fuel line would cause more damage, so that's not all that reassuring. Speaking of Mr. Afreitas, the only things AP tells us about him is that he's Guyanese and a former airport employee. There is, of course, one glaring omission.

Again, we're told the plot posed no threat to the public except that, until the plot was busted, it did. If anything, the AP report lists several recent "home-grown" terrorist plots that have been foiled. With this many plots being hatched, isn't it reasonable to assume at least one will make it past the "planning stages"? And if it does, I'd say the threat posed becomes considerable.

UPDATE: A press conference was scheduled for 1:00 p.m. The suspects are named.
According to sources, the suspects have been identified as: Russell Defreitas, Abdul Nur, Kareem Ibrihim and Abdul Kadir.

Sources said a cargo worker at JFK allegedly began to plot attacking the US last July or August. The cargo worker sought help in carrying out a plan and went to an FBI informant, who gathered information about the plot.

It looks like the authorities were on top of this for about a year, which is great. I'm genuinely happy that law enforcement agencies are doing their jobs as far as keeping us safe. And as far as earlier reports stressing that plot posed no threat to public safety? Well according to U.S. Attorney Roslynn R. Mauskopf it was in fact "one of the most chilling plots imaginable." At the 1:00 p.m. news conference, she said "the devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable."

So much for that.

MORE: As always, Hot Air has lots more on this developing story. Possible Al Qaeda connection? Check. Oh look, one of the suspects was an imam. Charming.

Looks like Russell Defreitas was quite the piece of shit:
"Any time you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow ... they love John F. Kennedy like he's the man ... if you hit that, this whole country will be mourning. You can kill the man twice," Defreitas said in another conversation, it said.

"Even the twin towers can't touch it," referring to the September 11 attacks in another comment that the law enforcement authorities said was recorded last month. "This can destroy the economy of America for some time."
Yeah, nothing at all to see here.

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