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US blasts Guyana for honoring 'terrorist' convicted in JFK bomb plot

Abdul Kadir (center, in pale suit), a former Guyana parliamentarian, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being found guilty of plotting a 2007 bomb attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York
Abdul Kadir (center, in pale suit), a former Guyana parliamentarian, was sentenced to life in prison in the United States after being found guilty of plotting a 2007 bomb attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York AFP/File
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Georgetown (Guyana) (AFP)

The United States hit out at Guyana's parliament on Monday for approving a resolution honoring "convicted terrorist" Abdul Kadir, who died in prison last year while serving a life sentence for plotting to bomb New York's JFK airport.

Kadir, a former Guyana parliamentarian, was extradited to the US where he was convicted in 2010 for arranging financing for the 2007 plot.

The US embassy in Georgetown blasted the National Assembly for choosing "to honor a man who conspired to kill innocent people from across the United States and around the world.

"This resolution is an insensitive and thoughtless act, which demonstrates the National Assembly's disregard for the gravity of Kadir's actions."

Kadir died in a US prison in June 2018, after which his body was returned to Guyana.

The US said the resolution called into question Guyana's reputation as a country that promotes religious tolerance and would undermine co-operation between the two countries in fighting crime.

"Members of Parliament have placed this resolution in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between our two countries," the US embassy said.

The National Assembly resolution hailed Kadir, a legislator from 2001-06, as "dedicated" and a "great man."

"With this resolution, honoring a convicted terrorist, members of Guyana's National Assembly have left a stain on their legacy as representatives of the Guyanese people and on their commitment to the rule of law," the US said.

The resolution was approved by government's 33 parliamentarians but was boycotted by the opposition People's Progressive Party, which also condemned the decision.

Kadir, a chemical engineer, converted to Islam in 1974.

He was arrested in 2007 in Trinidad from where he was scheduled to transit to Venezuela to collect a visa to travel to Iran for an Islamic conference.

He was convicted for plotting with others to blow up fuel tanks and pipelines at the John F. Kennedy airport.

A Guyana imam, Kareem Ibrahim and a naturalized US citizen, Russell Defreitas, were also sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in the planned attack, while a fourth man, Islamic militant Abdel Nur was given 15 years.

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