Press conference in New York is finally underway; video available on tape delay, due to technical issues at the site. Amid the congratulations from law enforcement and prosecutors, we’re learning more about the plot. Indications that Defreitas may have been planning to leave the country, prompting the FBI to arrest him, and spring the trap on other suspects in Trinidad. Additionally, “reading between the lines” of various comments, it sounds like Defreitas and the former Guyanan official may have been facilitators. U.S. attorney talked about the “support” the former official could provide. That suggests that this cell may have been paving the way for the attack, perhaps by operatives from the Middle East. They would enter the U.S. with phony papers from Guyana (procured by that former official), while Defreitas provided the intelligence and surveillance required for the plot.
Former airport employee identified as Russell Defreitas, a Muslim U.S. citizen, originally from Guyana. WNBC is reporting that Defreitas may be a former government official in Guyana. Two other suspects are in custody in Trinidad; one of those men may have ties to that government.
Additionally, it is being reporting that Defreitas had been under surveillance for a year before the arrests were made. A New York area Congressman tells Fox News that he has been aware of the surveillance effort–and potential threat to JFK–for many months.
More arrests may be in the offing. One of the more disturbing elements of this case is fact that two suspects are either current or former government officials in the Caribbean.
Drudge has the siren up for a breaking story out of New York. According to investigative reporter Jonathan Dienst at WNBC-TV, federal officials have foiled a plot to bomb New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport. Sources tell WNBC that the plan involved the bombing of a jet fuel pipeline at the airport, which could have triggered massive fire and explosions. The feds have called a 1 p.m. EDT news conference to discuss the apparent plot.
WNBC also reports that the plan apparently revolved around a former airport worker. Authorities are looking for at least four suspects in connection with the plot, but only one has been arrested so far.
More details as they develop, but certainly the background/nationality of that airport worker should prove interesting, along with any possible connections to other terror cells in the NYC area.