FBI agents feared but never confirmed the three men accused of plotting to attack John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York were linked to one of the most wanted al Qaeda leaders, Adnan Shukrijumah, known to have operated out of Guyana and Trinidad.
Officials tell the Blotter on ABCNews.com that they heard repeated references to "Adnan" during the extensive wiretaps conducted on the suspects' telephone conversations, including calls to Guyana and Trinidad.
There is a $5 million reward for information on Shukrijumah, who officials consider extremely dangerous because of the years he spent living in the Miami area and his known ties to al Qaeda. Some of the 9/ll hijackers attended a south Florida mosque run by Shukrijumah's now deceased father.
Shukrijumah left the United States just a few months before September 2001.
A FBI spokesperson in Miami said the squad assigned to track Shukrijumah was aware of the case but that "no connection" to the wanted al Qaeda suspect was found in the JFK case.
The spokesperson said the best available information is that Shukrijumah is with top al Qaeda leaders along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.
Authorities in New York today announced arrests in the ongoing counterterror investigation of a plot to blow up the jet fuel pipeline that runs through JFK Airport, officials said.
The plot, authorities stress, was not at an operational stage, and the plotters, who included a former airport employee, had no ability to execute it.
The investigation, which appears to have been ongoing for at least two years, was brought to a conclusion when one suspect was about to leave jurisdictions where U.S. authorities had the ability to monitor his activities.
Sources said the plotters had "indirect" links to overseas terror elements, and the plot had links to Guyana, Trinidad and possibly Germany.
Vic Walter contributed to this report.
This post has been updated.