US authorities say they have broken up a plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York City by attacking fuel tanks and pipelines.
Criminal charges were filed Saturday against four suspects, one a former airport worker. Three are in custody, and a hunt for the fourth man is under way in Trinidad.
Federal officials say they have been investigating the alleged plot for more than a year. They charge those involved had an attack plan for explosions aimed at the airport's enormous fuel storage and supply network, which can hold more than three-quarters of a million barrels of jet fuel.
A federal prosecutor , US Attorney Roslynn Mauskopf) says investigators uncovered "one of the most chilling plots imaginable." If the plot had been successful, she told reporters, the explosions would have caused "unthinkable" devastation.
Kennedy Airport which was named to honor the former US president after his assassination in 1963) has a fuel distribution network with 80 kilometers of pipelines and more than 100 large storage tanks.
Based on details so far released about the alleged plot, engineering experts say such explosions could have destroyed the entire airport, a facility that serves more than 40 million passengers a year.
One man has been arrested in New York City. Officials identified him as Russell Defreitas, a US citizen born in Guyana and a former airport worker.
Authorities in Trinidad have detained two other suspects -- Kareem Ibrahim of Trinidad and Abdul Kadir, a former member of Parliament in Guyana.
The fourth suspect, Abdel Nur of Guyana, is being sought in Trinidad.
Federal authorities said Saturday they filed charges against the four men after an investigation that began in January of 2006.
Last month, six men were arrested and charged in a plot to attack US soldiers at an Army base (Fort Dix) in New Jersey, about 100 kilometers from New York City.