US Embassy probing alleged T&T conspirator

(Trinidad Express) The United States Embassy is looking into the matter of an ex-US soldier being identified in an alleged conspiracy to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and three Government ministers.

Jason Brown, also called Abdool Karim, of 10 Williams Street, Aranjuez, has been identified by police as a former US soldier.

He has been identified in the detention order as a person involved in a conspiracy to assassinate Persad-Bissessar, Attorney General Anand Ramlogan, Minister of Housing and the Environment Dr Roodal Moonilal and Minister of Local Government, Chandresh Sharma. The alleged assassinations were to occur on November 24, 2011, the detention order states.

Questioned yesterday regarding the alleged involvement of Brown, a former US soldier, in the alleged plot, acting Public Affairs officer at the US Embassy Alexander McLaren said: “We have a close relationship with Trinidad and Tobago on security matters, and we are in regular contact with security forces. We are aware of those reports (that an ex-US soldier is identified in the alleged plot), and we are looking into them.”

Meanwhile, police probing the alleged threat said yesterday the guns and ammunition found at the Chase Village home of a car rental businessman are not linked to the alleged plot.

A senior police source said the matter involving the discovery of four weapons and ammunition is being handled by the Criminal Intelligence Unit and officers of the Organised Crime, Narcotics and Firearms Bureau. “That is something entirely different and has absolutely no connection to what we are probing,” the police source said. Up to late yesterday, police were still searching for the business man.

The source added that up to late yesterday, intelligence officers were searching for a large cache of arms, ammunition and explosives believed to be part of the alleged plot.

“We haven’t found anything thus far, but we have our intelligence people out in the field conducting enquiries and making several searches,” the officer said.

Sixteen of the men, who were served detention notices which were signed by National Security Minister Brig John Sandy earlier this week, are in custody at the Remand Yard Facility of the Golden Grove Prison, Arouca.

Two other men—one an alleged Laventille gang leader and the other, the son of a Freeport businessman—remain in police custody at the Belmont and Woodbrook Police Stations respectively. They were held on Tuesday and Thursday at their homes in Freeport and Laventille by police and soldiers.

Police are racing against time to build cases against the men before the State of Emergency (SoE) comes to an end next Monday. Once charges are not laid against the men and the SoE is not extended by Government, the detainees will have to be released by prison authorities. Investigators have been working around the clock to secure statements from detained persons as they build their cases.


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