US condemns Guyana parliamentary tribute motion for terror-plot convict Abdul Kadir

Last Updated on Monday, 29 April 2019, 16:45 by Writer

President David Granger and US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch chatting after she presented her credentials to him.

The United States (US) Embassy in Georgetown on Monday condemned the resolution by Guyana’s National Assembly for honoring the life and work of US terror-plot convict Abdul Kadir.

Kadir was sentenced to life in prison in the US after being found guilty of plotting a 2007 terrorist attack at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York.

“Members of the National Assembly, therefore, chose to honor a man who conspired to kill innocent people from across the United States and around the world. This resolution is an insensitive and thoughtless act, which demonstrates the National Assembly’s disregard for the gravity of Kadir’s actions,” the American embassy said Monday in a strongly worded statement.

Abdul Kadir, shown in 2007, used his engineering training to plan a terrorist attack, prosecutors said.

The embassy noted that while speaking at an International Peace Conference recently, US Ambassador Sarah-Ann Lynch held up Guyana as “a model to the world on religious tolerance and understanding.”

“The National Assembly’s resolution of April 26 draws into question that reputation,” the embassy said.

It also comes on the heels of Guyana’s historic cooperation with the US on the extradition of an alleged murderer.

The US Embassy added that the “Members of Parliament have placed this resolution in direct contradiction to the efforts of security cooperation between our two countries.”

“With this resolution, honoring a convicted terrorist, members of Guyana’s National Assembly have left a stain on their legacy as representatives of the Guyanese people and on their commitment to the rule of law,” the embassy said.

Meanwhile, United Kingdom High Commissioner to Guyana, Greg Quinn tweeted that “The UK shares the concerns of our #US friends about the ‘honouring’ of convicted terrorist Abdul Kadir. Terrorism affects us all and we believe this action was inappropriate.”

The opposition People’s Progressive Party, which boycotted last Friday’s House sitting, also came out in strong condemnation against the governing coalition for piloting and approving the motion of sympathy for Kadir, with its 33 members.

Junior Minister of Agriculture, Valerie Patterson-Yearwood, who tabled the motion, told the House that Kadir provided “dedicated service” to the Parliament from April 17, 2001 to May 2, 2006.

“The people of Linden and Guyana have lost a great man, a stalwart, a bold and courageous man so I ask this Parliament, this National Assembly that we direct an expression of its sympathy be conveyed to his sorrowing widow, children, grandchildren and relatives,” she told the House last week Friday.

The Guyanese politician died in a US prison on June 28, 2018  at the age of 56 and was buried in Guyana on July 12, 2018. Kadir, a chemical engineer, was also a former Mayor of Linden from 1994 to 1996, an engineer in the bauxite industry and the Guyana Water Inc and member of the bipartisan parliamentary Natural Resources Committee.

Born Michael Seaforth, he converted to Islam in 1974 and married Aisha Roberts with whom he fathered nine children.