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US troops helped T&T cops capture “high value targets”—CNN

Saturday, February 10, 2018

There’s been no response from the US Embassy in T&T on a CNN report that US military personnel helped capture the individuals detained by police on Thursday concerning a plot to disrupt Carnival.

Police said they had unearthed “credible information” of the threat, with ASP Michael Jackman confirming the individuals planned to engage in criminal conduct to disrupt activities surrounding Carnival 2018.

In a report yesterday, CNN subsequently stated: “US troops participated in anti-terror raids on Thursday in T&T in helping to capture four “high value targets.”

CNN quoted two US military officials, adding 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.”

CNN added the US troops did not participate in any direct combat. It said T&T “has long been an area of concern for the US military and intelligence communities as it is assessed to be home to ISIS sympathizers, with officials saying that some of its citizens have travelled to Iraq and Syria to join extremist groups.”

CNN added that in April 2017, US Navy Admiral Kurt Tidd, the Southern Command head, said “some of the individuals who left T&T have shown up “on film engaged in terrorist acts” and have committed murders in Syria.”

Police’s revelations of the plot also made it into Newsweek. The magazine featured warnings by American and British authorities on the issue and that several people had been detained, as well as quotations from CNN.

Newsweek reported that “more than 100” T&T nationals joined the Islamic State militant group (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria. It also claimed that in Middle East territories controlled by ISIS, “foreign fighters recounted how they had crossed paths” with Jamaican and T&T citizens. Newsweek quoted Harry Sarfo, a German who returned home and is now in jail, who reportedly said some of the Caribbean foreign fighters had become members of special ISIS units known as Jaysh al-Khalifa, or the “Army of Caliphate.”


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