PORT OF SPAIN – Police in Trinidad and Tobago have arrested four men in connection with a plot to disrupt Carnival celebrations next week, and while they have not revealed the nature of the plan, advisories issued by two foreign governments suggest it was terror related.
At an urgent media briefing yesterday, Assistant Superintendent Michael Jackman said the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) had “unearthed credible information” of a threat to disrupt the twin-island republic’s highly anticipated Carnival activities.
“The information received is going through intelligence gathering,” he said.
Jackman said several suspects were detained and were being interviewed, but police were also pursuing other leads.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service gives the assurance to residents and visitors alike that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service supported by the partner agency, the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, will be providing the necessary security and safety arrangements for Carnival 2018 to be effectively enjoyed by all,” he sought to assure.
“The public, as usual, should remain vigilant, alert of their surroundings and if they should see anything that appears suspicious they should do as they have done in the past and report it to members of the TTPS,” Jackman added.
The senior lawman declined to release the identities of the detained men or say whether the plan was linked to terrorism. But in a message to British citizens in Trinidad and Tobago on the heels of the police discovery, the UK Foreign Office advised of an increased threat of terrorism, saying “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. The Trinidad and Tobago government is increasing security measures for the Carnival. You should remain vigilant and avoid crowded places and large gatherings,” it advised yesterday.
The Canadian High Commission in Trinidad and Tobago has also warned its citizens there to watch out for terrorist attacks, despite the arrests by police.
“An attack still cannot be ruled out. The Government of Trinidad and Tobago has increased security measures around Carnival events. If you are attending or plan to attend Carnival, exercise extreme caution,” it said, adding that attacks in Trinidad could “occur at any time”.
Meantime, the United States Embassy has advised its government personnel to exercise additional caution and increased situational awareness if they intend to participate in Carnival events.