One of the 17 men detained by police for his involvement in an alleged plot to assassinate Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and three members of her Cabinet is now running scared. Zaid Abdul Hameed, 28, was detained and questioned about whether he had travelled to Afghanistan, worked with America's most wanted man, deceased Osama Bin Laden, and had obtained Islamic military training. He is now claiming that questions are being asked about him by Caucasian men. Hameed feels the men-who have been snooping around his Longdenville, home-are working with the Central Intelligence Agency to unearth more information to pin the assassination plot on him.
The men were first seen at the Morvant Police Station where Hameed was detained for nine days. They were also spotted on Thursday by neighbours on the street where he lives. Members of several mosques Hameed attends were also questioned. Prior to his arrest, Hameed said two police officers purporting to be Ministry of Social Development employees visited his home telling his wife that they had welfare money for him. Without thinking or asking for identification badges, Hameed said his wife supplied the police with answers. Just before midnight that same day, Hameed said a contingent of armed police officers swooped down at his home and arrested him.
His house was ransacked and searched for several hours. With a sense of uneasiness, Hameed, a devout Muslim, on Friday, said he feared for his life. "Is move we going to move out. I done put my truck for sale in the papers. The shooters and them coming. I know I am a marked man. Everything turning crazy." The police, Hameed said, accused him of transporting arms and ammunition with his truck for the assassination plot. Hameed said what was disturbing was that the police had no evidence. "No taped conversations, documents, photographs, guns or ammunition. All they find is a man telephone number on my phone. I am a man of business. Everybody watching me now."
Hameed admitted that his truck was caught in illegal mining in which the police was involved but he was never charged. Two days before Hameed's release, his wife of four years and mother of his three sons was given an ultimatum by her family, either leave him or become an outcast. "I am now rejected by my family because I have decided to stay with him for the sake of our boys and come up with a plan. This whole thing has been like a nightmare. We are so confused by the turn of events," said Hameed's wife, a secondary school teacher who refused to give her name. Hameed denied being a radical Muslim or a friend of the detainees.
'Most of the detainees have gone into hiding'
Disclosing that most of the detainees have disappeared or gone into hiding for fear of being targeted or killed, Hameed said: "I am the only one sticking." Speaking for the first time since his release from the Eastern Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Santa Rosa last Monday, Hameed said his entire life and that of his family was falling apart. He blamed the Prime Minister and the People's Partnership for this. "The Prime Minister should come clear on the matter. They have no evidence on me. I never make a jail. I have no previous convictions. So what was this about?" Hameed described the plot as a hoax.
"This is a make up thing. The situation with the Prime Minister has nothing to do with me. Watch how many people are affected by this. For what reason?" Vowing not to give up Islam, Hameed said persecution comes to those who travel the right way. Hameed was arrested after National Security Minister John Sandy had signed detention orders, clearing the way for the detainees to be held under the SoE, which ended last Monday. On Thursday, Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley asked President George Maxwell Richards to use his office to establish an evaluation report which challenged the findings of the Security Intelligence Report, which warned of an assassination plot against Persad-Bissessar.
Insisting that he never voted for or supported the PP Government, Hameed admitted to selling machinery to prominent business owners, who have branded him a Muslim extremist. Hameed said if anything should happen to him, the Government would have to answer to his wife, children and relatives. Days before his release, Hameed was dismissed from his transporting job with a furniture store. Hameed said Muslims who are repeatedly locked up are implicated later on. "I have no doubt that if I remain alive I will always be hunted and persecuted."