By DARRYL HEERALAL, Trinidad Express
LOCAL police officers have seized several computer files from Umar Abdullah related to the activities of his organisation, Waajihatul Islaamiyyah (The Islamic Front) and its connections with several radical international Muslim groups.
Abdullah, a Princes Town-based fundamentalist Muslim, has been identified as the man being sought by US and British intelligence in connection with reported threats to American and British interests in Trinidad and Tobago.
Two months ago, he was held at a routine police roadblock in Rio Claro and several computer files and documents were found in his car.
The Express learned that the files were seized and Abdullah was interrogated by two Special Branch police officers. The files reportedly contained information on the United States, Israel and Britain and several articles written by Abdullah condemning these countries and advocating military action against them by Muslims.
Abdullah was reportedly taken from the Rio Claro Police Station by Special Branch officers to an internet cafe where he was ordered to download the information from the computer onto a diskette.
However, the Express understands that several key documents relating to the links between Waajihatul Islaamiyyah and international Muslim groups, possibly including Al Qaeda, Hamas, Jihad and Jama Islaamiyyah, were deleted before it could be downloaded onto the diskette.
Following the incident, Abdullah was charged with driving the car with false licence plates. He was subsequently fined for the offence.
FBI, CIA and British SAS agents are currently here investigating reports about plans to attack US and British interests in this country. Abdullah's organisation is suspected as the group behind the plans.
U.S. Embassy officials said yesterday they had "no comment" to make on the matter, while British High Commission's public relations officer, Phillip Everest, said the High Commission was in "touch with local security authorities". He would not comment further on the matter.
Officials from the US Embassy, British High Commission and the Japanese Embassy yesterday met with head of the Special Branch, ACP Frank Diaz.
National Security Minister Howard Chin Lee yesterday denied that foreign intelligence agencies including the FBI are in Trinidad and Tobago investigating Abdullah, but well placed Special Branch sources told the Express yesterday that there are FBI agents here investigating Waajihatul Islaamiyyah and that the information seized from the Abdullah has been passed on to them.
There is a legal mutual assistance arrangement between Trinidad and Tobago, the U.S. and Britain, set up by the Legal Mutual Assistance Act of 1997.
Attorney General Glenda Morean through her PRO, Rodel Phillips, said that matters pertaining to FBI activities here have not reached her desk.
The Express was told that Special Branch began monitoring Abdullah about seven years ago when he started publicising his fundamentalist Islamic views and openly aligned himself with a Rio Claro-based mosque which is also under close police watch.
Senior police officials said yesterday Abdullah is a "well known fundamentalist" and confirmed that he is under constant surveillance as he "falls under the category of people who the police like to know about".
Abdullah's organisation openly supports Osama Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the Taliban and a Jihad (Holy War) against the US and its allies. Through its monthly newsletter the group has made several calls for the establishment of an Islamic State in Trinidad and Tobago.
Yesterday Police Commissioner Hilton Guy said statements made by Abdullah about setting up an Islamic state were not enough to justify a sedition charge against him.
Abdullah's two houses, one at Chaguanas and the other at Princes Town, have been raided several times by police in search of arms and ammunition.
|NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 this material is distributed without profit or payment to those
who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only.
For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material
from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.