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Police: Fourth suspect in JFK airport plot surrenders

Story Highlights

• The fourth suspect expected to appear in court Tuesday after turning himself in
• Three others charged with conspiring in plot to attack JFK airport in New York
• FBI ties alleged terror plot to South American, Caribbean extremists
• Leader of radical Muslim group in Trinidad denies links to suspects
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PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad (CNN) -- The fourth suspect wanted in connection with an alleged plot to attack New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport turned himself in to Trinidad authorities Tuesday, police said.

Abdel Nur, 57, of Guyana surrendered around 11:30 a.m. ET at the West End police station, police said. He is expected to make an initial court appearance later Tuesday, a law enforcement source said.

Nur is believed to have been in hiding since U.S. authorities identified him as one of the suspects in the plot over the weekend.

The FBI helped Trinidad authorities in an intense manhunt for Nur, whose photo was on the cover of Tuesday's Trinidad Guardian newspaper with the caption, "Most Wanted."

Nur and the other three suspects -- U.S. citizen Russell Defreitas, Abdul Kadir of Guyana and Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad -- are charged with conspiring to plant explosives to blow up fuel supply tanks, pipelines and buildings at Kennedy Airport, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Saturday. (Watch how authorities foiled the plot Video)

Defreitas, 63, is in custody in the United States, while Kadir -- a former member of the Guyana's parliament -- and Ibrahim are being held in Trinidad's capital on a provisional warrant and are fighting extradition to the United States.

At a brief hearing Monday, the first step in the extradition process, Trinidad Chief Magistrate Victor Thompson read the charges against Kadir and Ibrahim.

Both men maintain their innocence.

A second hearing is set for next Monday, at which time the two can make application for bail, an application opposed by U.S. authorities.

"We shall be applying for bail," said Farid Scoon, who represents Kadir and Ibrahim. "We have been instructed to fight the charges and extradition as the law of Trinidad and Tobago permits."

U.S. attorney general's representative Dave West has until August 2 to file evidence to extradite the men.

The leader of a radical Muslim group in Trinidad has denied that his organization has any links to the suspects.

Yasin Abu Bakr, the leader of Jamaat al Muslimeen, said he knew "nothing" about the alleged plot. U.S. authorities had alleged the suspects attempted to get support from Bakr's group, which staged a deadly coup attempt in the Caribbean nation in 1990 that left 24 dead. But court documents said the men did not receive such support.

The alleged plot came to light when the planners tried to recruit help from someone who was a law enforcement informant, sources said.

Defreitas was once a contractor for the aviation company Evergreen Eagle, a law enforcement official told CNN, and had knowledge of the airport through his job. Defreitas became an American citizen after coming to the United States in the 1960s, the official said.

The criminal complaint alleges that the men began working on their plans in January 2006. (Watch experts examine whether the plot could have worked Video)

Kennedy Airport typically handles more than 1,000 flights daily, about half of them international. Annually, about 45 million passengers and more than 1.5 million tons of cargo pass through the airport.

The fuel supply for these operations is linked primarily to the Buckeye Pipeline, which distributes fuel and other petroleum products to sites in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and the New York boroughs of Staten Island, Brooklyn and Queens, the Justice statement said.

A wiretap transcript given to CNN by the FBI indicates the alleged plotters targeted the airport because of the popularity its namesake, President John F. Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1963. (Full story)

"Anytime you hit Kennedy, it is the most hurtful thing to the United States. To hit John F. Kennedy, wow ... they love JFK -- he's like the man," Defreitas allegedly said in a telephone conversation monitored by the FBI.

"If you hit that, this whole country will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice," Defreitas allegedly added.

At a Justice Department news conference Saturday, the plotters were described as "a determined group" whose signature was persistence.

A law enforcement source said that the idea for the plot allegedly came from Defreitas, who also apparently recruited the other men. Those three supposedly directed the effort.

CNN's Kelli Arena, Jason Carroll and Kathleen Koch contributed to this report.



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