Reidblog [The Reid Report blog]

Think at your own risk.
Monday, June 04, 2007
The terrorist nobody knows
The head of Jamaat al Muslimeen in Trinidad, who led the only Islamic coup attempt in the Western hemisphere's history back in 1990, denies knowledge of the JFK plot, though he's a bit squirly on whether he knows the plotters (though try and tell it to Newsweek). Meanwhile, two of the alleged plotters are fighting extradition to the United States ... the better to stay out of Gitmo, I suppose... And the LA Times profiles 63-year-old Russell Defreitas -- a pretty sad character for a terror mastermind, the story goes:
U.S. law enforcement officials said Defreitas was nowhere near being capable of mounting an attack. He didn't have explosives, money or an executable plan. But one of the most alarming aspects of the case is that a man of such meager means made as much progress as he did, authorities said.

"It is a bit worrisome when someone like this, who is a bit washed up, is able to go out and solicit funding and the blessing of others who are more organized and experienced," said a Justice Department official familiar with the case, speaking on condition of anonymity. "It is a bit frightening."
A bit more:
Defreitas was portrayed in news accounts Sunday as a lonely figure, a man who made money selling books on street corners and shipping broken air-conditioning parts to Guyana. He is divorced and estranged from his two children, according to the reports.

"People around here never see that man," said a Trinidadian woman who runs a 99-cent store next to his apartment building on Rockaway Avenue in Brooklyn. "I'm right here 15 years…. The people in the building never see the man, so where did he come from?"

Her shop caters to people in the neighborhood who stop by for toothpaste, toy water guns and hair gel. The woman, who did not want to be named, said the local Caribbean community was close-knit so it was strange that no one she knew remembered Defreitas, not even residents in his building.

The neighborhood is largely populated by African Americans, Latinos and immigrants from the West Indies.

On Rockaway Avenue, employees at four grocery stores, a check-cashing business and Jay's West Indian Restaurant, which serves oxtail and curried goat dishes, said they had no idea who he was. One screamed at a reporter: "This is harassment. I tell everyone, I did not know that man!"

Defreitas' building is a faded four-story row house with a broken intercom that buzzes incessantly. Neighbors said the building was known to house drug addicts. Knocks on his door and others in the building went unanswered Sunday.
These guys are the worst thing for Trinidad and Guyana since . Adnan Shukrijuma, and yet it's hard to take them entirely seriously, given their lack of means and capability to carry out such an ambitious plot as exploding the fuel lines under an entire airport, plus parts of the borough of Queens...

These appear to be rather sad old men who turned to this plot as a way to feel important. Hardly the crack terrorist cell Rudy Giuliani would have you believe so that you'll be terrified enough to vote for him.

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