Two men accused in a terrorist plot hoped to cause a spectacular explosion that would kill thousands at New York's Kennedy International Airport and avenge U.S. oppression of Muslims, a prosecutor said Monday at the men's trial.
The defendants wanted to blow up jet fuel tanks at the sprawling airport, causing an explosion "so massive ... that it could be seen from far, far away," Assistant U.S. Attorney Zainab Ahmad said in closing arguments in federal court in Brooklyn. Their vision prompted them to code name the plot "The Shining Light," the prosecutor said.
Defense attorney Mildred Whalen countered by accusing a government informant of manipulating a ragtag crew of delusional dupes who had "seen too many Bruce Willis movies." She called her client Russell Defreitas a "weak-minded, foolish man with a big mouth."
Defreitas, 66, a former JFK cargo handler, and Abdul Kadir, 58, once a member of Parliament in Guyana, were arrested in 2007 before they could get beyond the planning stages after the informant — a convicted drug dealer — infiltrated the plot and made a series of secret recordings.