Oil Terror Plots & Patsies

Title: New Caney Men Arrested In Pipeline Explosion
September 29, 2004
Chron News

Abstract: New Caney men have been arrested in connection with a pipeline explosion that caused many to be evacuated from their New Caney homes Sunday.

Douglas Lloyd Crosby, 30, and Dennis Wade Durrenberger Jr., 21, are charged with criminal mischief, a first degree felony.

The men were arrested Tuesday by investigators from the Montgomery County Fire Marshal's Office and the Montgomery County Sheriff's Department, and remained in custody this morning.

The explosion, the result of vandalism in which a track hoe ruptured a six-inch pipeline carrying the highly flammable chemical propylene. The pipeline was operated by Mustang Pipeline Company.

Authorities said the vandalism and explosion caused more than $200,000 in damage. No injuries resulted, but many in New Caney were kept out of their homes for hours until the leak was brought under control.

Officials said further investigation will determine whether Crosby and Durrenberger may be responsible for similar acts of vandalism at other area construction sites recently (Chron News, 2004).

Title: 3 Arrested In JFK Pipeline Terror Plot
June 2, 2007
NY Daily News

Abstract: Four would-be terrorists hatched a plot to blow up Kennedy Airport and swaths of Queens by attacking fuel tanks and an underground pipeline - igniting a catastrophic explosion that would eclipse 9/11, authorities said yesterday.

One of the suspects boasted to a federal informant that "he had a vision that would make the World Trade Center attack seem small," according to the criminal complaint.

The ringleaders were identified as a four men from Guyana and Trinidad, and included a Guyanese politician and a former airport worker.

Three suspects have been arrested. One was busted in New York on Friday and was awaiting arraignment in Brooklyn federal court yesterday.

Investigators said the cabal - which had ties to Jamaat Al Muslimeen, an extremist Muslim group in Trinidad - had not yet bought explosives but posed a credible threat. They had taken video of the airport and obtained satellite photos, the complaint said.

"This was the real deal," said a source familiar with the alleged plot.

The group "was very familiar with the airport and how to access secure areas," another source said.

The alleged plotters were identified as Russell Defreitas, who is originally from Guyana and had worked at Kennedy; Trinidad national Kareem Ibrahim; Abdul Kadir, a former member of the Guyanese parliament, and Abdel Nur, also from Guyana.

The group's original plan was to crash an airplane into several other passenger jets on the ground at Kennedy "to create a catastrophic explosion," a source said.

But the suspects couldn't recruit enough co-conspirators and changed course, the source said.

They came up with a new plan: to set off explosions at the airport's fuel farm, a series of storage tanks, the sources said.

They also were targeting a massive jet-fuel pipeline that runs from Linden, N.J., through Staten Island, Brooklyn, Queens and to the airport.

They hoped an assault on the so-called Buckeye pipeline - which carries 8 million gallons of jet fuel and refined petroleum into the city every day - would kill thousands by causing explosions through residential sections of Queens.

At a meeting last year with an informant, Defreitas confided "he had a vision that would make the World Trade Center attack seem small," the complaint said.

Defreitas allegedly told the informant that Kennedy Airport, one of the busiest hubs in the world, was chosen because of its symbolic connection to the slain president.

"They \[Americans\] loved John F. Kennedy like he was the man. If you hit that, this city will be in mourning. It's like you can kill the man twice," he said, according to the complaint.

The suspects were under surveillance for a year before the three arrests made here and overseas.

"We had them on conspiracy long ago," a law enforcement source said, adding that the feds didn't move in more quickly because wanted to see whether the probe targets had ties to Al Qaeda.

Any links to established terror networks were unclear.

"There are a couple of shadowy figures in the background," a government source said. "Whether those Al Qaeda connections were real or not, we don't know."

Authorities decided to step in and round up the suspects because some of the plotters were expected to travel soon.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI, NYPD, Port Authority Police and U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

In a statement, the company that owns the Buckeye pipeline praised investigators for bringing the plot to light.

"We have been kept fully informed and apprised of this potential threat from the very beginning," said Roy Haase of the Buckeye Pipe Line Co. "We are of course very pleased that this threat has been thwarted and those responsible apprehended" (NY Daily News, 2012).

Title: U.S. Man Found Guilty In Alleged Plot To Blow Up Pipelines
Date: July 13, 2007
Source: Niagara Gazette

Abstract: A Pennsylvania man who claimed he had been trying to root out terrorists on the Internet was convicted Friday of trying to help al-Qaida blow up U.S. oil pipelines and refineries.

Michael C. Reynolds, 49, was found guilty of charges that included providing material support to terrorists. He told jurors that he was working as a private citizen trying to uncover nefarious plots while visiting Internet chat rooms frequented by Islamic extremists.

Reynolds was arrested in December 2005 after authorities said he tried to meet with a man he thought was an al Qaida contact at an Idaho motel. The contact turned out to be a Montana judge who was working for the FBI.

Prosecutors said Reynolds wanted to work with al-Qaida to target a Wyoming natural gas refinery; the Transcontinental Pipeline, a natural-gas pipeline that runs from the U.S. Gulf Coast through Pennsylvania to New York and New Jersey; and a Standard Oil refinery in New Jersey that no longer exists.

Reynolds thought his plan would help end the war in Iraq because troops would have to be recalled to help guard America's energy infrastructure, prosecutors said. Reynolds also owed child support and may have been motivated by greed, they said.

At the meeting in Idaho, Reynolds expected to receive $40,000 to finance the alleged plot, according to court documents (Niagara Gazette, 2007).