It is getting hot in middle Earth.
Today, a purported internal Police document was relayed from the Head of Special branch, which claimed that the Jamaat-Al-Muslimeen (JAM) was “moving arms and ammunitions to the North and San Fernando” and had planned to “target the Prime Minister’s residence” and free the eleven persons charged with the murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal and the Vindra Naipaul-Coleman case.
For some still undetermined reason, the Jamaat apparently does not also wish to lower the price of super gasoline, safeguard corruption-accused Chaguanas West MP Jack Warner, pay the “Women Soca Warriors” their unpaid match fees and finally ascertain the truth behind Section 34.
Or maybe that is on the to-do list for next week.
Police Commissioner Stephen Williams confirmed that the memo was authentic.
So, let Mr Live Wire see what he can do with this.
First, let us look at the sudden lust for freedom from Jamaat jailbirds.
Last Friday, three prisoners—two of them were Jamaat members—escaped from the Port of Spain Prisons after receiving ammunition and a non-functioning grenade, allegedly from a visit.
The two Jamaat members, Hassan Atwell and Allan “Scanny” Martin, were shot dead within 24 hours. Only Christopher “Monster” Selby got back to prison alive.
The media claimed Atwell was killed by the “Rasta City” gang. They did not attribute this information to anyone but suggested it came from the Police.
Mr Live Wire already spoke about the ramifications of such an irresponsible leak. And today’s Police memo seems to read from the same hymn book.
Is it not a paradox for a “Confidential” document to be addressed to “All Field (sic) Section?” And what crime did “Spell Check” commit to be tortured in that manner?
That document was always meant to go outdoors and Special Branch or whoever the originator was might as well have CC’d the thing to Mark Bassant and get it over with.
Just last month, Trinidad and Tobago Police Service Social and Welfare Association secretary and Inspector Michael Seales warned officers to be wary of an attempt to use them to create a state of emergency.
“The fact is that the intelligence coming to us at the association is that there is a concerted effort to bring a situation about that they provoke the membership of the Police Service so that the membership will react outwardly,” said Seales, on the TV6 Morning Edition show of June 24. “And so let me say publicly and appeal to the membership: please do not be duped into doing anything foolish. Because the reason why we are saying that is because we are hearing that there is a position to provoke the police so they can call a state of emergency to delay the elections…
“So we are admonishing every single member of the Police Service, do not do anything that will provoke that. That is what we are hearing in terms of intelligence.”
If Seales, who was suspended for his outburst, is concerned about officers being pawns in a higher Game of Thrones, then recent incidents suggest that the Media Association of Trinidad and Tobago (MATT) and the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Imam Yasin Abu Bakr should be just as worried.
Let’s revisit the memo.
Rajaee Ali, the presumed man-of-action at the Carapo Mosque and son of its Imam Hassan Ali, has been incarcerated for the past eight months for conspiracy to murder DJ Kevaughn “Lurbz” Savory.
The accused men in the Naipaul-Coleman case, who, incidentally, are not all Jamaat members, have been behind bars for eight years.
It is quite a coincidence that the Jamaat would suddenly decide to free all and sundry and strike at Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar within six weeks of Trinidad and Tobago’s general election.
Why Persad-Bissessar? Is the Jamaat upset that she will not debate Opposition Leader Keith Rowley?
And, with almost the entire Carapo Mosque frontline behind bars, who is coordinating an attack as ambitious as one on the presumably beefed-up Prisons and the Prime Minister’s residence?
It is plausible. The best rumours always are.
As we all know, the Jamaat has history for this sort of thing. In another convenient masterstroke, news of a potential uprising falls within the remembrance week of the attempted coup of 27 July 1990.
Is the Carapo Mosque, like the Jamaat leadership 25 years ago, preparing a violent response to the perception of State victimisation?
Or is a ‘high hand’ in the Police Service laying the groundwork for a bloody assault on Carapo? And, having failed to initiate a gang war with claims—through the media—that Rasta City shot their brother in the back, is someone raising the stakes in their provocation of Carapo muslims?
Insert conspiracy theory here:
An effort to clean the trail that leads to the mastermind behind the Seetahal murder?
A postponement for the general election?
Lurbz wants to make a “tack back” but would like to see his would-be assassins in funeral boxes first?
Does any theory make more or less sense than the other?
In 1995, the Jamaat’s attorney, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, became Trinidad and Tobago’s Attorney General with a UNC Government that the Muslimeen supported.
Yet, it was under Maharaj that the State won a massive victory over the Jamaat and the rights to 12 parcels of land. The Jamaat claimed that it was double crossed by their attorney who allowed an appeal to lapse.
And how did the murderous revolutionaries enact revenge? They released secret tapes of their meetings with Maharaj to the media.
The point is: the Jamaat does not always attempt to solve its issues with rifles, and they have not tried in quite some time. Even if some shadowy figures are trying to convince the public otherwise.
Abu Bakr issued a release in response to the rumours:
“We would like the police to clarify (the authenticity of the leaked memo),” stated the Jamaat. “We also urged the TTPA to act within the constraints of the law and to take every precaution to avoid discrimination against Muslims.
“There is no threat to the population of Trinidad and Tobago by the Jamaat Al Muslimeen. Our issues are being dealt with legally.
“There appears to be persons spreading rumours with a view to causing mischief to destabilise our country.”
And, in an unintended touch of farce, he added:
“As a people, we need to stand united and to support each other. We thank the public for their continued support.”
Cue mass eye-rolling across the country.
The Jamaat does not enjoy public support. It never did. It is why that group is the perfect target for such action in a country where extra-judicial killings are cheered by not only the man on the street but the National Security Minister.
In this Game of Thrones, there are a few armies moving at once, whether literally or figuratively, in a fight for survival and spoils—on the streets and at the polls.
Thus far, Rowley’s response has been muted. But then what can he say without making things worse?
To quote saucy wildling, Ygritte: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
And Greer Cave, the newspapers are now reporting that the man detained for questioning about the vehicle had a water-tight alibi and was released. Remember that they have CCTV footage of that whole area, eh. So sit back, relax and wait; in a year’s time, all the “forensic” and “technological” work will be completed and he will, as was the case with Dana’s murder, be rearrested.
You knows nothing Live Wire Snow. The grenade came from a water tank. The King’s wooden hand of the Commissioner looked to put a squeeze on any appropriate action to be taken from house Bakr. He ‘wooden’ even give details of the penalty for takin a leak on his authority nor how many persons are in Special Branch of Tart. Could one person really be left in that Branch of Tart? And shouldn’t the field section Warg information to the head after their investigations and not the other way around? Its like the head of the u.s secret service taking time to write a second memo- “hey B.O is in danger at the White House, agents go out and investigate.” First memo- “protect the prison, protect the escapee.” This entire thing Reeks.
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Remember some news orgs here are not the holy grail eh.
Feels like they need to established that they thwarted a catastrophe by putting up smokescreens and false trails. Had the beginning and end of the tale but couldn’t link the two to let the story flow right. Maybe you could advise them Lasana
Exactly all this info was available and yet the prison break happened? Makes no sense at all.
Wonder how many prison officers were in the dormitory at the time…
Why does Guardian not have a quote from port authority? Or the police in charge of the relevant task force?
This pre-cog was enough?
So not only does this “intelligence source” claim to know where the grenade came from. He or she knew exactly what the prisoners planned to do with it.
Is Guardian’s source a pre-cog? Or just full of BS?
Check this passage Greer Cave:
The T&T Guardian was informed by an intelligence source that the shipment entered the country several weeks ago in the name of two businessmen from central and south Trinidad. It is alleged the businessmen are linked to a top criminal organisation in T&T. Sources said they linked Friday’s prison break to the shipment because the grenade which Martin had was from that shipment and had allegedly been smuggled into the Port-of-Spain prison.
It is believed that after the trio shot their way to freedom in a well executed escape plan, Martin was supposed to throw the grenade over the prison walls, near the prison officers’ dormitory. The impact of the explosion was expected to cause severe damage to the dormitory, where prison officers who had worked the night shift would have been resting before making their way home.
Lasana an observation in the post you shared from the guardian. Since they could determine that the grenade was a part of the shipment that came in, then they obviously have possession of it to make that determination. So how was the shipment obtained? Were the persons who owned the shipment detained? If so, was any information extracted from them (which I expect since they had knowledge of the precise locations and time the other grenades were alleged to go off). To whom was said info given and when? Why no course of action taken other than one police vehicle near the prison entrance?
Great article as usual man, I keep telling ppl since the start of this year, the PM is moving like a Dictator, it seems like she has copied the playbook of Emperor Palpatine from the Star Wars saga. She is clearly trying to create an atmosphere so that she can call another SOE, 5 weeks b4 a GE we still don’t know most of candidates for the PP. Plus I firmly believe when they called a motion of no confidence in Dr. Rowley (Opposition Leader) it was to provoke a response. But we’ll see what happens, I still want a plane ticket to leave this country and come back 2 weeks after the GE because Lord alone knows what can happen next!!! #genuinelyconcerned
Correct about Senior Prison Officers