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Accused Guyanese Terrorist Considered Rats As Decoy

Russell Defreitas NEW YORK/ GUYANA -A naturalized US citizen and Guyanese national, accused of a terror plot to blow up fuel lines and tanks at New York`s John F. Kennedy International Airport, considered rats as a decoy, a witness said in court Tuesday.

As the trial of Russell Defreitas and his co-accused, Abdul Kadir continued in a Brooklyn court house, government witness Steven Francis testified that the main accused told him: `Maybe get some rats, whatever. I don’t know. I just come up with wild things. `

The rats, according to Francis, a former convicted drug trafficker, were to be released to divert the attention of security personnel at the airport. Francis is a naturalized U.S. citizen from the Dominican Republic who became an informant for the federal government after his conviction for drugs.

Francis said Defreitas meant that he wanted to use the rats `to create chaos.` The conversation, he said, took place in his truck on Jan. 4, 2007, when the two men drove to the airport to conduct surveillance.

Defreitas, who was a former cargo worker for Evergreen Airlines and Kadir, a former member of the Guyana Parliament, are charged with hatching the plot in January 2006. They circulated their plan to an international network of Muslim extremists, prosecutors said.

Defreitas pleaded not guilty in 2007. His co-defendants pleaded not guilty in 2008. They`ve been in custody without bail. Defreitas and Kadir face possible life sentences if convicted.

Abdel Nur, also a citizen of Guyana, pleaded guilty June 29 to one count of providing support to terrorists. Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of Trinidad, was granted a separate trial at a later date due to a medical condition.

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