Imam convicted in JFK tank plot

NEW YORK - An imam from Trinidad was convicted Thursday of participating in a failed plot to blow up jet-fuel tanks at John F. Kennedy International Airport, a scheme that authorities said was meant to outdo the 9/11 attacks and avenge perceived U.S. oppression of Muslims around the world.

Kareem Ibrahim, 65, was convicted by a federal jury of five conspiracy counts. The mastermind of the operation, Russell Defreitas, a former cargo handler, and coconspirator Abdul Kadir, an engineer and former member of Guyana's parliament, are serving life in prison after their conspiracy convictions.

Ibrahim faces life in prison at his Oct. 21 sentencing. A fourth man, Abdel Nur, pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 15 years. - AP

Lawyers allege leaks in N.Y. case

NEW YORK - Lawyers for former IMF leader Dominique Strauss-Kahn contended Thursday that leaks to the media could prevent the French economist from getting a fair trial in his attempted-rape case, and they are blaming the New York Police Department.

Lawyers William W. Taylor and Benjamin Brafman said they could release information that "would seriously undermine the quality of this prosecution and also gravely undermine the credibility of the complainant." They did not elaborate. Their complaint came in a letter to Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., whose office responded that it was "aware of no such information."

The scrap came as Strauss-Kahn, 63, spent his first full day in the latest locale for his high-priced house arrest, a $50,000-a-month townhouse in TriBeCa. He is accused of sexually attacking a hotel housekeeper, 32, on May 14. She now has her own team of lawyers; one declined to comment Thursday. - AP

17 GOP senators criticize Geithner

WASHINGTON - Seventeen Republican senators sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner questioning his warning of a possible default if Congress doesn't raise the U.S. debt ceiling by an Aug. 2 deadline.

The 17, including Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, accused Geithner of ignoring some methods he could use to forestall a default of government obligations to bondholders, including cutting federal programs. "We believe it is irresponsible and harmful for you to sow the seeds of doubt in the market regarding the full faith and credit of the United States and ask that you set the record straight," they wrote.

Treasury spokeswoman Colleen Murray said in an e-mailed statement: "The suggestion by some in Congress that . . . the United States should for some indefinite period stop paying nearly half of its bills, is both misguided and deeply irresponsible." - Bloomberg News

Elsewhere:

Former Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) plans to announce his run for president June 6 in Somerset County, Pa., near where his immigrant grandfather worked as a coal miner, according to a source close to the campaign. It's a resonant setting for the formal launch of a campaign that Santorum has been preparing for more than a year.