Colleagues of a former opposition member of Guyana's parliament expressed disbelief Saturday that he could be involved in an alleged plot to attack New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport.
Abdul Kadir, who authorities said was arrested in Trinidad as he prepared to board a flight to Venezuela, had never expressed extremist views or hatred of the United States, said James McAlister, who served with him in Guyana's parliament.
"He was a very principled and disciplined person," said McAlister, a fellow member of the opposition People's National Party. "He never aired any fundamentalist views or showed any such symptoms."
Oscar Clarke, a former member of parliament and general secretary of the party, said he too was skeptical of US allegations that Kadir and three other Muslims planned to destroy the airport by blowing up a jet fuel artery that runs through several neighborhoods.
"I would be definitely shocked and surprised if anything is proven against him," Clarke said.