By Darryl Heeralal, Express TT
THE man being sought by US intelligence in connection with reported threats to American interests in Trinidad has been identified as Umar Abdullah, a Princes Town-based radical Muslim who wants to establish an Islamic state here.
The Express learned yesterday that Abdullah heads an organisation known as Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front) which publishes a monthly news letter condemning US and British activities in the Middle East, Afghanistan and other parts of the Muslim world.
The news letter openly supports Usama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban, a “Jihad” (Holy War) against the US and Britain and the setting up of an Islamic State here.
FBI, CIA and British SAS agents are currently in Trinidad investigating separate reports about specific plans to attack local US and British interests .
The US Embassy was informed, some five weeks ago, about plans to attack US business interests in Trinidad on December 22 while the British High Commissioner says its intelligence has been told about plans to attack British interests around Carnival 2003.
In both cases Abdullah and his organisation have been identified as being behind the plans.
Abdullah and his group do not see it as “attacks” on the US or British but as following Islamic teachings.
He intends to set up an Islamic State locally “by following the Our’an and Sunnah (the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammed),” the Express has learned.
Abdullah has not yet been contacted by either US or British intelligence.
When questions were passed on to Abdullah yesterday about whether there was any truth in the intelligence reports there were neither confirmed nor denied.
It was said though that Abdullah’s organisation was fighting a “Jihad” and “anything can happen”.
Abdullah through his writings has described himself as a “slave of Allah” and believes that once a Muslim “stands firm and practises Islam” he will be targeted.
Abdullah was born, and grew up, in Tableland. He went to both a Presbyterian and Hindu primary school and later to St Stephen’s College, Princes Town, an Anglican Church assisted secondary school.
He has two wives, one lives at Princes Town and the other at Chaguanas .He has three children.
Abdullah who is 35, started practising Islam about 20 years ago and has always been described as a “hard line Muslim”.
He works as a private investigator and debt collector who “solves peoples’ problems with the help of Allah”.
Local intelligence including the Special Branch have compiled reports on the activities of Abdullah and his organisation.
It could not be confirmed whether Abdullah and members of his group were involved in military training .
However this newspaper was told that there are people in Trinidad outside of the military capable of operating a nuclear warhead.
The FBI report says that a shipment of guns including AK-47s Tec-9s, and Glocks were bought into the country in June from Germany as a “gift” for a favour owed.
It also said that Abdullah was in possession of two warheads.
Several Al Qaeda agents operated out of Germany during the planning of the September 11 attacks on the US.
Links between Waajihatul Islaamiyyah and several foreign-based radical Islamic groups, possibly including Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jihad and Jamma Islaamiyyah were confirmed.
Hamas is based in Palestine, Jihad in Egypt while Jamma Islaamiyyah is the suspected group behind the Bali bombing.
The Express learned that Waajihatul Islaamiyyah is in communication with these groups and receives donations.
All of these groups have been identified by the US Government as terrorist cells and part of President George W Bush’s “axis of evil”.
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