Western countries have warned their nationals about a possible terrorist threat here after the Trinidad and Tobago police confirmed they had detained several people who were allegedly planning to disrupt the annual Carnival celebrations that ends here early next week.
Police Information Officer Michael Jackman said that the detained people were being questioned and that the information received is going through intelligence gathering.
“The Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) revealed it was a plan to disrupt the Carnival activities, intelligence agencies were active and vigilant and the discovery was made,” he told a news conference late Thursday.
“Trinidad and Tobago Police Service will continue, in collaboration with the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force, to ensure that persons enjoy Carnival 2018 in a safe and secure environment,” he said, following a high-level meeting of security officials.
While the police would not divulge the identity of the men, media reports here have linked them to a a mosque in the El Socorro, San Juan area, along the east west corridor.
“As I said before the information received is going through the investigative process and intelligence gathering activities that the TTPS have taken part in revealed that it was a plan to disrupt the Carnival activities,” Jackman said.
But the Canadian, United States and British authorities have issued statements here describing the events as a terrorist threat, warning nationals to be careful over the Carnival celebrations that ends 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 and avoid crowded places.”
“Attacks could be indiscriminate, including in crowded spaces and places visited by foreigners”.
The United States Embassy here in its message said while Port of Spain was taking steps to deal with the security situation, American visitors as well as “US government personnel are advised to exercise additional caution and increased… awareness if they participate in Carnival activities”.