Imam Behind JFK Terror Plot Sought Assistance From Iran
62 year-old Kareem Ibrahim was denied bail for plotting to blow up fuel tanks at JFK International Airport.
Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, is led out of a courthouse in Port of Spain June 4, 2007. A Trinidad court denied bail on Monday for three suspects in an alleged plot to blow up New York’s JFK International Airport and a local prosecutor said they may face life imprisonment. (Stringer/Reuters)
A Shiite imam accused of plotting to blow up fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport wanted to seek Iranian backing for the terrorist plot.
The disclosure came yesterday in a court decision denying bail to the Trinidadian-based cleric, Kareem Ibrahim.
Mr. Ibrahim, 62, is one of four men arrested last month on charges connected to the plot. At the time, American law enforcement officials said Mr. Ibrahim encouraged his co-conspirators to seek funding for the attack from outside their home countries of Trinidad or Guyana. While American authorities have not provided more details, a judge in Trinidad wrote that evidence, including tape recordings, suggests Mr. Ibrahim intended to seek backing for the plot from individuals in Iran or Britain.
In those recordings, Judge Prakash Moosai wrote, Mr. Ibrahim “refers to an ‘Iranian brother’ passing through Trinidad and Tobago, and of sending a ‘trusted brother’ to Iran to speak to the top men of the revolutionary movement there about the plan.” The judge’s decision does not clarify whether “the revolutionary movement there” refers to the government of the Islamic Republic. Nor does Judge Moosai state whether the plotters actually disclosed the plan to contacts in Iran or simply considered doing so. Mr. Ibrahim also spoke of contacting “brothers in England,” the decision said.
Mr. Ibrahim’s alleged efforts to find foreign backing mark the second Iran connection to surface in a case that initially appeared confined to the Western Hemisphere. At the time of his arrest, another of the defendants, Abdul Kadir of Guyana, was preparing to travel to Iran to attend an Islamic conference, according to news reports. Two of Mr. Kadir’s children were studying in Iran at the time of his arrest, according to reports.