Perhaps they prefer specific targets.
“Trinidad Group Denies Link to New York Bomb Plot,” by Marc Lacey in the New York Times, with thanks to all who sent this in:
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, June 9 “” One senior member of this island’s most hard-line Islamic group said he loves American television and hopes to send his son off to university in the States. Another said that when he is not praying or preaching, he plays in a steel drum band.
Denying that their group, Jamaat al Muslimeen, was tied to any plot to bomb a New York City airport, members this week portrayed themselves as both Islamists and islanders, devoted to God but also part of the multicultural mix that defines the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago.
Even as they did, the fiery imam who has long been the Jamaat’s public face ducked out the back of the mosque. That man, Yasin Abu Bakr, who once led a violent coup attempt here in 1990, faces trial next week for sedition and extortion and oversees a group with a reputation for thuggishness.
Those who have studied the group consider it a stretch to mention Jamaat al Muslimeen and Al Qaeda in the same breath. But United States authorities say it was an obvious place for the four suspects now accused of plotting to bomb Kennedy International Airport to turn when they were looking for Islamist support.
“They”re certainly a militant group with a history of criminality and violence,” said Chris Zambelis, a counterterrorism analyst with the Jamestown Foundation in Washington. “But their focus has been strictly on Trinidadian issues.
“I’d describe them as a local criminal gang,” he added, “not any kind of global terrorist organization. It’s a very radical fringe group, not at all representative of the Trinidadian Muslim community.”
Court documents suggest that Mr. Abu Bakr met in May with one of the suspects, Abdel Nur, a Guyanese national who surrendered to the police on Tuesday.
The Islamic leader, the court documents say, suggested a follow-up meeting “to discuss the plan in detail” and to give Mr. Abu Bakr time to do further checks on the participants. Before any such meeting took place, authorities in New York and Port of Spain arrested the four on charges of planning to bomb the airport’s fuel line.
Jamaat officials said two of the suspects had visited their mosque, but they dismissed the notion that a real terrorist operation was in progress and that their group was part of it.
“We don’t subscribe to that “” this randomly blowing up of people,” said Kala Akii-Bua, Jamaat’s social welfare officer and the leader of a steel drum orchestra, adding, “I have a lot of respect for the security forces of America.”…