Guyanese terrorist accused allegedly confesses to being mastermind
… US challenges attempts to suppress evidence
Russell DeFreitas the Guyana-born US resident who has been implicated along with Abdel Nur, Kareem Ibrahim and Abdul Kadir in a terror plot to blow up the JKK International Airport in the United States of America has reportedly confessed to being the mastermind.
However his attorney, Mildred Whalen, with whom this newspaper made contact explained that the US government has to give the defense notice of any statements it plans to use at trial in advance of the trial at which point they get to make objections to the use of the statements at trial.
Judge Dora Irizarry, who also presided over the Roger Khan matter, decides if the statements can be admitted at the trial.
If the statements are admitted at trial, it will be up to the jury to decide whether De Freitas actually made those statements, and, if he made them, whether they are in fact a confession.
Whalen explained that at this point, the government “has given me notice of certain statements they allege De Freitas made,” namely his confession but she has made a motion to suppress those statements to prevent them from being admitted at trial.
The US Government responded to that motion on Monday last. “I will reply to their response by January 25…We will then appear before Judge Irizarry for oral argument, to answer any questions she may have about the motions.”
That oral argument is scheduled for January 27, but Ms Whalen explained that the date might be changed. “After the oral argument, Judge Irizarry will issue her decision as to whether or not the statements may be used by the government at trial.”
A US report yesterday stated that DeFreitas has confessed to being the mastermind behind the terror plot.
That report stated that when confronted with surveillance tying him to the plot, De Freitas said he was clamming up because, “I did not realize you had so much evidence,” according to an FBI summary report.
“As DeFreitas was walking out of the room, he told the investigators, ‘You guys are the best,’” the report states.
Whalen is also trying to suppress evidence seized from his backpack and from his Brooklyn apartment.
The items include a Koran and a book titled “101 Questions on How to Play Chess,” which federal prosecutors say may be relevant to rebut De Freitas’s claim that he is unable to read.
De Freitas, a U.S. citizen from Guyana, has been indicted along with three others in the plot to ignite the so-called Buckeye jet fuel pipeline, triggering a massive conflagration that would engulf the airport and surrounding residential area.
Initially, De Freitas claimed he had been approached at the Al-Khoei Mosque in Queens by Muslim “brothers” who knew he had worked at the airport and were planning an attack.
DeFreitas minimized his role, claiming the others, including a Guyanese businessman, were just “picking his brain” for ideas.
Three of the men he identified have not been publicly charged.
After investigators confronted DeFreitas with evidence that he and an informant were surveilling the airport tanks, he “sat silent with his head down for several minutes,” the report notes.
Co-defendants Abdel Nur, Kareem Ibrahim and Abdul Kadir want separate trials from DeFreitas, whose court date is slated for June.
The US Government in seeking to counter Kadir’s move to suppress evidence against him stated that his motion to suppress evidence obtained during searches and seizures outside the United States should be denied because Kadir lacks sufficient connection to the United States to warrant Fourth Amendment review.
The US Government is also contending that the motion by defendants DeFreitas and Kadir to suppress evidence obtained during searches and seizures abroad and inside the United
States should also be denied because those searches and seizures were lawful.
“The motion by defendant DeFreitas to suppress statements made and evidence seized after his arrest should be denied because he waived his Miranda rights, (the right to remain silent) consented to the search and has provided no evidence to the contrary.”
The US Government is also contending that the motion by defendants Ibrahim, Kadir and Nur to suppress statements made during their extradition proceedings should be denied because those statements were voluntarily submitted by the defendant, upon advice of counsel.
“Finally, the motion by defendants Ibrahim and Kadir to sever their trial from other defendants should be denied as the defendants have failed to allege improper joinder or overcome the strong presumption in favor of a joint trial.”
Russell DeFreitas, Kareem Ibrahim, Abdul Kadir and Abdel Nur are all charged in connection with a plot to conduct a terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport (“JFK Airport”) by, inter alia, exploding airport fuel tanks and part of the connecting pipeline.
The US Government is contending that in connection with the plot, the defendants performed physical surveillance, made video recordings of JFK Airport and its buildings and facilities, located satellite images of JFK Airport and its buildings and facilities on the internet, and sought expert advice, financing and explosives.
On or about June 1, 2007, warrants were issued in the Eastern District of New York for the arrests of Kadir, DeFreitas, Ibrahim and Nur.
DeFreitas was arrested in New York pursuant to an extradition treaty between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago, the United States requested that the government of Trinidad and Tobago execute provisional arrest warrants against defendants Kadir, Ibrahim and Nur, all of whom were present in Trinidad and Tobago on June 1, 2007
Trinidadian law enforcement officials arrested Kadir on June 1, 2007 at Piarco International Airport in Trinidad, as he was attempting to travel through Venezuela to Iran.
On or about June 3 and June 10, 2007, Guyanese police obtained and executed two warrants to search Kadir’s residence in Linden, Guyana.
DeFreitas is a naturalized United States citizen, but was born in Guyana and maintained a residence there.
On June 6, 2007, Guyanese police conducted a search of DeFreitas’s Guyanese residence pursuant to a search warrant issued under the laws of Guyana.