Law enforcement officials held a press conference Saturday to outline the details of the thwarted terror plot directed against JFK airport. The group of four men, three of whom were arrested yesterday, were planning on exploding the pipeline that carries aviation fuel to JFK. Their hope was that it would set off a chain reaction along the length of the pipeline, which is 40 miles long and runs through several residential neighborhoods, in a bid to kill thousands of people. They also wanted to plant explosives aboard an aircraft and in or near one of JFK's terminals.
One of the plotters lived in Brownsville, Brooklyn and neighbors described him to WABC as an older gentlemen who always dressed in robes like the one he was wearing when arrested. The FBI recorded him claiming that as a former baggage handler, he had unrestricted access to JFK's facilities. He apparently surveilled his potential target four times.
Officials are claiming that the successful execution of the plot would have resulted in the deaths of thousands of New Yorkers. The Daily News, however, writes that the owner of the pipeline and various security experts were doubtful that the plan could have been pulled off. While not willing to discuss the details, they said that there were definite precautions installed in the pipeline that would restrict the chain reaction these terrorists were plotting. And while some might be cyncical regarding the seriousness of the arrests, if the FBI said we caught some guys who were planning on simultaneously hijacking four commercial jets and then flying them into the Pentagon and the Twin Towers, causing them to fall, our first reaction would be "Yeah right, like that could ever happen."
Photograph of JFK Airport's storage field by Seth Wenig/AP