FBI tip on terror threat

By Nalinee Seelal
February 17, 2018 – newsday.co.tt

Trini ISIS fightersUS law-enforcement officers, including the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), tipped off TT’s Special Branch and the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) in December last year on plans by a certain group of local Muslims to bomb the US Embassy in Port of Spain between Carnival Monday and Tuesday.

The intelligence was also shared with head of the National Security Council Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi and Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon.

This led to US law-enforcement officers working alongside the local team, using state-of-the-art surveillance equipment and wire-tapping to intercept, what has been described as, coded messages between people of interest who had been linked to Islamic State (ISIS).

Four people who were detained between Wednesday and Thursday were being interviewed by the FBI at four different police stations yesterday.

The story has now gone international. CNN yesterday reported that US soldiers participated in anti-terror raids in TT on Thursday, helping to capture four “high-value targets.” The US troops did not participate in any direct combat.

The report said TT has long been an area of concern for the US military and intelligence communities as it is assessed to be home to ISIS sympathisers with officials saying that some of its citizens have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join extremist groups.

During the several weeks of surveillance, the team targeted several people from the El Socorro district and others from Laventille, Enterprise and Bamboo Settlement in Valsayn.

On Wednesday and Thursday they targeted five mosques at El Socorro, Munroe Road, Sangre Grande, Bamboo and Laventille. The searches centred on finding explosive devices including bombs, hand grenades and arms and ammunition .

Although nothing was found during the raids, the team believes the devices are concealed somewhere.

Yesterday, relatives of the detainees said they do not know where they are and are not being given any information.

In a release yesterday, the Ministry of National Security said it was satisfied that security agencies are well prepared to secure the public’s safety during Carnival. The minister commended the police for their “timely unearthing and aversion of a potential threat” on Thursday, saying it was “the result of continued implementation of an integrated, intelligence-led strategy.”

Yesterday public relations officer of Muslims of TT, Imtiaz Mohammed, described the arrests of the men as an attempt to embarrass the community. He described, as a hoax, information that there were plans to disrupt the Carnival activities and also believes it is part of a plan by the US and TT government to get the population to support a bill to amend the Terrorist Act.

Source: http://newsday.co.tt/2018/02/16/fbi-tip-on-terror-threat/

9 Responses to “FBI tip on terror threat”

  • All Carnival terror suspects freed…two charged*
    TWO of the people who were held in connection with the alleged Carnival terror plot have been jointly charged with possession of a firearm. The couple—Adil Mansano and Alisha Thomas—were charged early yesterday morning and appeared before Magistrate Rehanna Hosein in the Port of Spain Court.

    9 detainees now free
    The majority of the 13 people initially detained in relation to an alleged terrorist plot targeting recently concluded Carnival celebrations have now been released from police custody.

    PM confirms to House: T&T has ISIS cell

    CELLS of the terrorist Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) exist in TT, posing a threat to national security, and hence the need to monitor people of interest, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley declared yesterday. He made the revelation to the House of Representatives during the Prime Minister’s Questions and Answers segment of the sitting, after being asked about a security threat that was revealed before the Carnival weekend.

    Tariq: Foreigners behind my detention
    “FOREIGNERS were behind my arrest,” Tariq Mohammed declared yesterday, as he reiterated that as a devout Muslim, he is a man of peace and does not support the terrorist group ISIS. Speaking from his Mohammedville, El Socorro home two days after being released by police, Mohammed denied being part of any plot to disrupt Carnival or carry out terrorist acts.

    Charles: Govt ignored us on terrorists
    WE told you so, but we were ignored, said Naparima MP Rodney Charles in a statement yesterday accusing Government of turning a deaf ear to warnings of purported threats posed by Islamic State fighters returning to TT. After this Carnival’s terrorism scare, Charles said the Opposition had warned Government of such a terrorism threat at least seven times.

    Bakrs unconvinced
    HEAD of the Jamaat al Muslimeen Yasin Abu Bakr says while he is not aware of the details behind the arrest of 13 people in connection with a suspected plot to disrupt the Carnival he remains unconvinced of the seriousness of the threat as reported by government, as there is no evidence to support such claims.

    Rivers to sue state
    Clint Rivers, one of the five people released by police on Thursday after being held for six days in connection with a terror threat on Carnival 2018, will be pursuing legal action.

  • Damn if you do, Damn if you don’t. Trinidad may be entering an era of geopolitics that the Republic/Colony is not ready for, if Trinidad depends on the US to combat local terrorism, the country will be in for a long and brutal ride.Being in the backpocket of the USA’ foreign policy, the Rowley led Trinidad Gov’t continues to have mis-steps with their own National and International policies, which continues to be adhoc.The FBI should be in no position to influence policies in Trinidad, from COINTELPRO to the present WAR on TERROR, the FBI continues to put their stamp on WHITE SUPREMACY’ international police force, assassinations, incarcerations and demonization are the tools used over the last 17yrs. The big picture, is ISIS might just be the pretext for what is in store for USA satellite Trinidad, the VISA tokens given to T&T comes at a time when US immigration policies are going through universal condemnation, Mr Rowley will no doubt have to answer. If one should look at this local crisis in an other angle, Mr Rowley might be playing right into the hands of TRUMP via-a-vis Venezuela, i pray that Mr Rowley doesn’t turn out to be a US lackey. MLK jr before his FBI sponsored murder, told us that the USA is, and continues to be the Worlds #1 terrorist Nation, where is our sense of HISTORY? SOLUTIONS to our problems, should evolved from among our own level of comprehension. The hope is that, after 1970, NUFF, and 1990, national brashness should be averted, but then again, the call is not made in T&T, but in SUPER POWER USA who holds all the pieces to make, break,destabilize and invade T&T.

  • Cooper, I wholeheartedly agree with your comment.

    Maybe if the CIA and FBI were not busy trying to set up Trinidad and manipulate other countries they could have prevented the latest school shooting. The guy announced his intentions and they were warned. Racism is a hell of a thing…they just do not see their white folks as terrorists or a major threat. The US does not have a good track record of preventing attacks from within so we should be sceptical about what they claim to know.

    When I first heard of this so-called terrorist threat during Carnival, I immediately thought that the US was setting up Trinidad to force the government to institute policies that favour them. Our government has not shown any backbone when dealing with the US. The US decides for us who our allies should be. And yes, they are plotting a coup in Venezuela; they are no longer masking their intentions behind the claim of promoting democracy.

    If the Government of Trinidad and Tobago stood firm and proclaimed that our security network did not detect such a threat, then the country would have been ripe for the CIA to set up an attack. They would probably use some disgruntled persons, just like they did with the Trinis they locked up for plotting an attack in the US… folks who did not have the means to carry out such an attack.

    The prime minister is between a rock and a hard place, especially already having no courage, and I suspect not being well-informed. If he played down the threat, then the opposition would have ramped up the US claims to show them they would be the better lackey and to try to gain political mileage.

    Trinidad is in a sad state.

  • From a US perspective we are also classified as a shithole country. Trinis living abroad return to their home country for Carnival, Christmas etc. because the culture is ingrained and the fun is here,jump on the plane and go back and make more bread for more fun later on. That’s not patriotism. My opinion is we are very parochial in our thinking and actions and lack the understanding and meaning of making sacrifices.

    We are noted to be followers in the art form of copycats’. We do not believe in ourselves in solving our own problems. 1970 and 1990 serve as good examples US and Scotland Yard interventions. Cuba has withstood the imposed sanctions but has shown the spine in standing up. How many attempts were made on Castro’s life and yet how many US presidents passed on before the demise of Fidel (natural causes), not by the bullet as MLK and JFK did. When Obama care is a major issue in the US health care and all levels of education is free for all in Cuba.

    As mighty as the US is, guns rule and that is what has placed them there and at the same time we acknowledge that the US are at the frontiers of science and technology. Today, the guns are destroying them within and by their own.

    The attached article lends some light especially with the OAS and lends some semblance of support damned if you do and damned if you don’t.


  • The population is confused about this threat issue as so many different media accounts are being presented.
    The FBI is responsible for domestic intelligence gathering while the CIA is an international intelligence agency.
    The investigation is ongoing even if most of the suspects detained were released.
    This would be a highly classified area and only a few senior officials in the intelligence agencies would know the truth of the matter.As it currently stands the population can only speculate as to what really transpired.

  • Public confidence is at stake
    Express Editorial
    WHETHER a terrorist attack on Carnival was successfully thwarted or never existed is open to public conjecture following the release without charges of all but two persons detained in connection with the alleged conspiracy. Until the prosecution presents its evidence in the trial of Adil Mansano and Alisha Thomas, the public will also not know whether the gun possession charges laid against them are in any way related to the alleged attack. As it stands now, the Government will have to contend with some public scepticism about the integrity of the intelligence supplied to this country, reportedly by the United States, and the effectiveness of the police operation.

    Hunt for ISIS network head
    Networks of the ISIS cell in T&T which Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley referred to in Parliament are spread from Aranjuez, Charlieville and Enterprise to Rio Claro among other locations, a national security official has said. They spoke on Friday night when asked by T&T Guardian to elaborate on Rowley’s earlier confirmation that there is an ISIS cell in T&T.

    Phones, laptops, iPads seized
    Out of the 15 people detained in connection with the alleged plot to disrupt the 2018 Carnival festivities, the majority were released mainly due to writs of habeas corpus filed.

    I felt like a criminal
    One of the 13 men released by the police without charge after being held in relation to a threat to disrupt Carnival yesterday said he was only questioned one day of the seven days police had him in custody.

  • UNC MPs slam AG’s denial of local ISIS cell
    Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi has come in for flack for trying to deny media reports of Prime Minister Keith Rowley’s admission of an ISIS terror cell operating in T&T

    Kamla slams AG over ‘conflicting’ statements on ‘ISIS cell’ in T&T

    Lack of terror info destabalising T&T
    Moonilal calls for full disclosure

  • Trump, Putin, and Nikolas Cruz Walk Into a Bar…
    This week an angry dead end kid named Nikolas Cruz took his legally purchased AR-15 and walked into a school and opened fire. The FBI knew about Cruz because he had been reported to them. Cruz had been reported to the school, too. But nobody followed up. Cruz himself is one of those unpleasant looking young men that are visibly angry, and who exhibit, even in photographs, a quality of emotional disturbance. But nobody followed up. The FBI is too busy writing narrative fiction about Russia. The FBI is more concerned with constructing terrorist threats and then busting various patsies and making a big show of their success. This same week the US has continued to bomb Yemen alongside Saudi Arabia. This same week Mike Pence stomped around the site of the Winter Olympics and managed to insult most every foreign leader in attendance, but most acutely the hosts of this event. But then Pence is a vulgar rube from the hinterlands of Indiana. A fundamentalist Christian whose knowledge of the world is even smaller than his boss the President.

  • Something peculiar is at play on the geopolitical landscape, particularly where Trinidad and Tobago is concerned. So I think as citizens of T&T we need to be observant of what is taking place.

    I would also say that cnn is a tool of the ‘West’ and therefore taking their news as doctrine is a dangerous mistake.

    People need to understand that ‘terrorism’ is in some part a geopolitical tool if I can call it that to manipulate and destabilize countries. Look at what is going on in Syria.

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