More Arrests As Trinidad’s Police Investigate Alleged Terrorist Plot


Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams


(CMC) — The Trinidad and Tobago police Saturday said they had detained three more people in connection with a plot to carry out criminal activities during the Carnival celebrations that end here early next week.

Acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams told a news conference that seven people are now assisting the authorities in their probe of the alleged plot that some western governments have linked to a possible terrorist activity.

Williams told reporters that the investigations remain “live” and assistance is forthcoming from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“I wish to give the assurance to residents and visitors that the Trinidad and Tobago Police service continues to address the threat to disrupt Carnival 2018 festivities.

“As you may recall, we first reported the matter to you on Thursday… The threat that we speak about is of unusual criminal acts of varying forms including violence.

“Since our last report we continued our investigations and have detained three more persons bringing the number of persons detained in this matter to seven,” he told reporters adding “this investigation remains a live one, we are working diligently and doing everything possible within the framework of the law to conclude this investigation within the shortest possible time”.

On Thursday, western countries warned their nationals about a possible terrorist threat here after the Trinidad and Tobago police confirmed they had detained several people who were planning to disrupt the annual Carnival celebrations.

The Canadian, United States and British authorities issued statements describing the events as a terrorist threat, warning nationals to be careful over the Carnival celebrations that end with the traditional street jump up on Tuesday next week.

The British government said that “updated information and advice on the threat from terrorism in Trinidad and Tobago… terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Trinidad and Tobago.

“The Trinidad and Tobago authorities have arrested some individuals who planned to carry out attacks against Carnival on 12 and 13 February, 2018, an attack is still possible,” it said noting that the government here is “increasing security measures for the celebrations’.

London warned nationals to “remain vigilant” adding “attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded spaces and places visited by foreigners”.

Williams told reporters that contrary to rumours and some media reports, “we have not unearthed any threat in relation to any embassy or High Commission with a diplomatic presence in Trinidad and Tobago.

“At present the investigators continue to question persons detained and they also continue to pursue the gathering of evidence with the clear intention to prosecute persons where sufficient evidence would have been obtained”.

Williams said the police service is working with the DPP at intervals and the police are “obligated to enlighten citizens and residents of this country of any threat which has come to our attention.

“In fact, we owe a duty of care to inform all,” he said, adding that in this context the initial statement was made last Thursday and “as the investigation progresses our commitment is to keep you inform on a timely basis.

“At the moment we are doing everything legally possible to (deal) with that threat. The public safety and security for carnival 2018 celebrations and based on the advances we have since the threat was uncovered I am in a position to give the public the assurance that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service supported by our partner agency, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force will continue to be out in our numbers at all carnival venues to ensure a safe and secure Carnival 2018”.

Williams has urged citizens to be vigilant during the Carnival and inform the authorities of any situation they consider to be out of the ordinary.