A judge in Trinidad ordered three men extradited to the US to face charges in an alleged plot to attack New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and a confidential US document said they planned to seek help from Iran.
Trinidadian Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls rejected without comment on Monday a defense argument that the men could not be extradited on conspiracy charges under Trinidadian law.
Taped conversations between the alleged conspirators show they planned to seek Tehran's help in a strike intended to dwarf the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, a to a 28-page document signed by Assistant US Attorney Marshall C. Miller and delivered to lawyers said.
"We can try to send someone to Iran to get the movement, the revolutionary movement, and they can discuss that plan there," Trinidadian suspect Kareem Ibrahim, an Islamic cleric, was quoted as saying in the confidential report.
Russell Defreitas, a US citizen who worked as a cargo handler at the airport until 1995 and is now in custody in New York, told Ibrahim that when contact was made with the Iranians, they should be told the attack should be staged late at night in the winter, because "these are the times they don't respond to nothing. Traffic slows down. Security slows down. Everything slows down," the document said.
In a separate conversation, Ibrahim said he had recruited one of his associates, described in the document only as "individual F," who would "travel to Iran and present the plot to militants there."
"He says he will go," Ibrahim is quoted as saying. "All he has to do is renew his passport."
But then US authorities stepped in, apparently before the overture to Iran could be made.
One of the three who faces extradition from Trinidad to the US is Abdul Kadir, who was arrested in June as he was boarding a flight from Trinidad to Venezuela and planned to travel to Iran.
Kadir was an opposition legislator in Parliament in Guyana, a South American country along the Caribbean coast, until last year. Kadir, who is a cleric, studied Islam in Iran in the 1990s.
Richard Clarke-Wills, a lawyer for Abdel Nur -- the third defendant in the extradition hearing -- said he would appeal the ruling to Trinidad's High Court.