News Americas, PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, Mon. Feb. 12, 2018: It’s Carnival Monday in Trinidad and the weekend has been abuzz following the announcement of a potential terror attack and then the arrest Saturday of several people by police on the twin-island. Here’s what you should know to date:
1: Things heated up after both the US and UK governments last Thursday warned of the potential of a terrorist attack during the carnival. The US embassy in Port-of-Spain published a security alert on Thursday that read, “US government personnel are advised to exercise additional caution and increased situational awareness if they participate in Carnival events.” And Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office also issued a travel advisory on Thursday, warning British nationals to avoid large crowds in Trinidad.
2: On Saturday, the country’s Acting Police Commissioner, Stephen Williams, announced on Saturday that 8 people are now in police custody following ongoing investigations into a reported terrorist threat to disrupt Carnival 2018.
3: Williams said that the investigation into the Carnival 2018 threat is a “live one” and that the TTPS is “doing everything legally possible to eliminate that threat.”
4: CNN, however, reported that US troops participated in anti-terror raids in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago helping to capture four “high value targets.” CNN reported that US military personnel from US Southern Command, which oversees US military operations in the region, advised and assisted local Trinidadian security forces in apprehending the four extremists who are believed to be part of a network engaged in plotting terror attacks.
5: Trinidad & Tobago police insist carnival will go on without incident. “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,” the body said in a statement.
6: Trinidad and Tobago is home to some Muslim ISIS sympathizers with officials saying that some of its citizens have traveled to Iraq and Syria to join extremist groups. An October report by the Soufan Group, a security consultancy that tracks foreign fighters, said that approximately 130 Trinidadians have traveled to Iraq or Syria to become foreign fighters and many are back in Trinidad.