U.S. authorities say they have foiled a terrorist plot to blow up John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, charging four suspects in the case.
Three of the four suspects - including a former airport employee - were arrested Friday and Saturday in New York and the Caribbean island nation of Trinidad and Tobago. A fourth suspect is still at-large and believed to be in Trinidad. Charges were filed against all four men Saturday.
The indictment says U.S. federal law enforcement officials had been tracking the plot since January 2006.
Police say the suspects were planning to blow up Kennedy Airport's enormous fuel tanks and vast network of underground pipelines.
Officials say the suspects were trying to get a Trinidad-based Muslim extremist group (Jamaat al-Muslimeen) to finance their plan and provide them with explosives. But authorities say the plot never went beyond the early planning stage, and the public was never in imminent danger.
Kennedy Airport has a fuel distribution network with 80 kilometers of pipelines and more than 100 large storage tanks that can hold more than three-quarters of a million barrels of jet fuel.
Engineering experts say if the suspects had succeeded, the explosions likely would have destroyed the entire airport.
Police say one of the suspects unwittingly bragged to an undercover informant that he believed the airport attack would be worse than the attacks of September 11th, 2001 that destroyed the World Trade Center towers.
Three suspects are from the small South American country of Guyana, with one being a naturalized U.S. citizen. A fourth suspect is from Trinidad. One of the suspects in custody is a former member of parliament in Guyana.
A White House spokeswoman (Jeanie Mamo) says President Bush was briefed on the case. She called the arrests a "good example of international counterterrorism cooperation."