Trial of Trini in JFK plot case may start even if he is still unwell

A trial for the fourth man involved in a foiled plot to blow up New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport will start May 2, even if the defendant, Kareem Ibrahim, is too weak to participate, a judge said.

Bloomberg reported today that U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry in Brooklyn, New York, said yesterday that Ibrahim, 65, a citizen of Trinidad, persists in not eating or drinking as the trial date approaches. Ibrahim, who was rolled into court in a wheelchair yesterday, weighs 114 pounds and has been refusing water, insulin injections for diabetes, and his Ensure nutrition shakes, doctors told the judge by phone yesterday.

“I see cyclical patterns here. When we get closest to trial is when he most persists with not eating. At some point, it’s malingering,” Irizarry said, after questioning Ibrahim’s lawyers, doctors and an emergency medical technician about how best to take care of him during a trial.

Three Guyanese have already been sentenced for their roles in a 2006 plot to blow up New York’s biggest airport. Ibrahim was set to be tried in April after being granted a separate trial due to a medical condition. Bloomberg said the trial date is now set for May 2.

The attacks, hatched by Russell Defreitas, were intended to blow up fuel lines and tanks and, ultimately, “the whole of Kennedy,” Defreitas said in a taped conversation. The plotters circulated the plan to an international network of Muslim extremists, according to the government.

Defreitas, 67, a former cargo worker at the airport and Abdul Kadir, 59, were sentenced to life in prison. Abdel Nur, 60,  was sentenced to 15 years.

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