Jump to content
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!) ×
Guests can now reply in ALL forum topics (No registration required!)
In the Name of God بسم الله
Sign in to follow this  

Shi'i Guyanan Ex-mp Arrested On Terrorism Charges

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

GEORGETOWN, Guyana: Colleagues of a former opposition member of Guyana's parliament expressed disbelief Saturday that he could be involved in an alleged plot to attack New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Abdul Kadir, who authorities said was arrested in Trinidad as he prepared to board a flight to Venezuela, had never expressed extremist views or hatred of the United States, said James McAlister, who served with him in Guyana's parliament.

"He was a very principled and disciplined person," said McAlister, a fellow member of the opposition People's National Party. "He never aired any fundamentalist views or showed any such symptoms."

Oscar Clarke, a former member of parliament and general secretary of the party, said he too was skeptical of U.S. allegations that Kadir and three other Muslims planned to destroy the airport by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through several neighborhoods.

"I would be definitely shocked and surprised if anything is proven against him," Clarke said.

Kadir, 55, served in the parliament until last year, when it was disbanded before general elections in the former Dutch and British colony on the north coast of South America.

He was arrested in Trinidad and Tobago with a man identified as Kareem Ibrahim, a citizen of the twin-island Caribbean nation.

U.S. authorities said Russell Defreitas, an American citizen and native of Guyana, was in custody in Brooklyn. The fourth man, Abdel Nur of Guyana, was still being sought in Trinidad.

Kadir's wife, Isha Kadir, told The Associated Press that her husband knew Abdel Nur in Guyana in the 1980s but they were no longer in contact.

"We have not seen him for a long time and I would be surprised if my husband has any links with him still," she said in a phone interview from her home in Guyana.

The wife said Kadir, a Shiite Muslim, was traveling to Venezuela to pick up a travel visa to attend an Islamic religious conference in Iran. She planned to travel to Trinidad to try to meet with her husband before he is extradited to the United States.

"We have no interest in blowing up anything in the U.S.," she told AP. "We have relatives in the U.S."

Kadir, who studied civil engineering at the University of Guyana and at the Trinidad campus of the University of the West Indies, also served as mayor in Linden, a small city south of Georgetown, the Guyanese capital.

He also worked for years as a civil engineer in the state-owned bauxite company before leaving to set up a building contractor business.

Kadir was a friend and associate of an Iranian cleric, Muhammad Hassan Abrahemi, who was abducted, shot to death and left in a sand pit east of Georgetown in 2004.

He and his wife have three children, who have all studied religion in Iran, Isha Kadir said.

His wife said she suspects her husband's arrest is linked to two American Muslims who stayed with the family in Guyana for a week last month. She knew one only as Muhammed and did not know the other's name.

"I am now wondering if those Muslim brothers did not set us up," she said. "I can't say for sure but we have nothing to hide. We are not involved in anything."

Guyana's government sought to distance itself from Kadir, noting his role as an opposition figure. "This latest development brings into sharper focus the need for greater cooperation among countries in the fight against international terrorism," the government said in a statement.

Muslims, mostly Sunnis, make up about 9 percent of Guyana's population of about 770,000. They are about 6 percent of Trinidad's population.

Trinidad is home to a radical Muslim group, Jamaat al Muslimeen, which launched an unsuccessful rebellion in 1990 that left 24 dead.


pix.gifpix.gif Mr Abdul Kadir's arrest earlier this year heightened widespread dread of terror attacks against targets in the western world by Islamic extremists. Mr Kadir, an imam from Linden, has been accused of alleged involvement in a plot to sabotage a fuel pipeline feeding the John F Kennedy International Airport in the USA.

Even before concrete evidence of a credible conspiracy emerged, it was clear that the case had been cast as part of a tangled web of religious faith, local politics and international crime.

President Bharrat Jagdeo quickly described the suspects as "absolutely crazy" and vowed that his administration was "not going to tolerate any of this madness here." Minister of Home Affairs Mr Clement Rohee reiterated what he called the administration's "principled position" against international terrorism. Mr Fazeel Ferouz, president of this country's largest pro-Saudi Arabian Sunni organisation - the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana - announced that it does not condone, agree with, or support any manifestation of terrorism.

Apart from the criminal charges brought against Mr Kadir, several salient issues have surfaced. To start with, he is arguably the most prominent person in this country associated with the local Shia Muslim community. In fact, two of his children are Islamic scholars and graduates of the religious centre of Kum, Iran.

After the mysterious murder of Mohammed Hassan Ibrahimi, an Iranian national and the director of the Shia International Islamic College for Advanced Studies, Iranian detectives came to Guyana to investigate the crime, but no one was ever charged. The centre, a private institution, received its funding from Iran and it is not insignificant that Mr Kadir was arrested while en route to Iran where he had been invited to attend an Islamic conference.

At the time of Mr Ibrahimi's murder, Mr Kadir expressed puzzlement at the silence of pro-Saudi Islamic groups on the crime. He need not have. The fact is that, in contrast to the noisy condemnation of his own alleged conspiracy, official reaction to certain other types of organised crime over the past decade has been selective and ambivalent.

There have been no howls of outrage against one prominent muslim, an executive member of a West Demerara jamaat, who served a prison sentence for his role in the United States Embassy visa racket - thought to be the largest ever corruption scandal in the US Diplomatic Service, in 2000.

Or another, the proprietor of an aquaculture enterprise, charged in 2003 with having 94 Guyanese passports; 10 United States passports; 9 Canadian passports; 38 Trinidadian passports; 5 Barbadian passports; one Guyana immigration entry stamp and one Guyana immigration departure stamp, suspected to be stolen, and several illegal firearms and ammunition, all in his possession.

Yet another, the proprietor of a chain of fuel stations, who was charged in 2005 when one of his properties was found to contain contraband fuel. Another, the late proprietor of a prominent cambio, had been arraigned on gun and ammunition charges shortly before his death. Another, a fugitive from justice in the USA who now faces trial there, was arrested by the Suriname police in 2006 in a raid that netted more than 200 kg of cocaine. And so the story goes.

The accusations, arrests, deaths and denials are anything but coincidental. Mr Ibrahimi, for example, regularly received his funds from Iran through the same cambio at which a suspect in the current airport conspiracy also worked and where a notorious al Qaeda terrorist - Adnan el Shukrijumah - was reportedly seen up to 2003.

In this lawless labyrinth of influence-peddling, money-laundering, narcotics-trafficking, fuel-smuggling, gun-running, murder and illegal migration, opportunities abound for trans-national crime. Under the pretext of religious cooperation, the local criminal infrastructure can be used as a platform for moving terrorists from middle eastern and south Asian countries to north American and western European destinations. This is the real concern of Canada, the UK and USA.

The administration and religious organisations must not be seen to be deaf, dumb and blind to selected felonies while screaming stridently against others. They must condemn and act decisively against all crime, regardless of the political or doctrinal affiliation of the culprits.


Abdul Kadir (born circa 1952) is a former member of Guyana's parliament, the National Assembly, and was the mayor of Guyana's second-largest city, Linden, from 1994 to 1996. A chemical engineer by trade, he served in the National Assembly from 2001 to 2006 as a member of the main opposition party, the People's National Congress Reform.

Born Michael Seaforth in Buxton, Guyana, the son of Victor Seaforth, Kadir converted to Islam in 1974 and changed his name. He and his wife Isha, both Shia Muslims, have nine children and 18 grandchildren.

In 2007, Kadir was arrested in Trinidad in connection with a plot to blow up jet-fuel supply tanks and pipeline at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City. He was arrested 2 June while en route to Caracas, Venezuela, where he planned to pick up a visa in order to attend an Islamic conference in Iran. Also implicated in the plot were Russell Defreitas, a Guyanese-American, Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad, and Abdel Nur of Guyana. The United States government alleges that Kadir and Nur were associated with the Trinidad-based Jamaat al Muslimeen, a militant Muslim group. Kadir is currently being held in Trinidad; the United States plans to seek his extradition.


Edited by waiting

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

  • Create New...