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US Authorities Foil Terror Plot at JFK Airport

U.S. officials in New York say they have foiled a plot to explode jet fuel tanks and a pipeline at the city's John F. Kennedy International Airport. One official called it "one of the most chilling plots imaginable". VOA's Jeff Custer reports from Washington.

State and federal authorities in New York say they have arrested three people Saturday and are seeking a fourth in connection with the plan to use explosives to attack airport fuel tanks and pipelines that service JFK airport.

U.S. Attorney Rosalynn Mauskopf told reporters the pipelines are fed by a major fuel facility in near-by New Jersey which also has links to other area airports. "The devastation that would be caused had this plot succeeded is just unthinkable," she said.

Federal authorities say they filed charges against the group after an investigation that began in January of 2006.

The officials say they arrested former airport employee Russell Defreitas in New York. Defreitas is a U.S. citizen and Guyana native.

Two suspects were arrested in Trinidad. One of them, Abdul Kadir is said to be a former member of parliament and former local mayor in Guyana. The officials say the fourth individual is still at large and is believed to be in Trinidad

U.S. Attorney Mauskopf says the case provides a picture into how these types of plots develop, explaining " these plots have international connections - how this particular one spread from the United States, Brooklyn New York - through Queens, JFK Airport, abroad, into Guyana and Trinidad."

The officials say the plot never got past the planning stage, and did not pose an imminent threat to air passengers.