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Former Jordan detainee denies giving info on Carnival terror plot

Monday, June 11, 2018

Keegan Roopchand, who was detained in Jordan, has distanced himself from an article claiming a T&T couple detained there gave information about the Carnival disruption plot—including plans for attacks using Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), poisoning of pork and other meats sold in T&T groceries and with Sarin gas.

Roopchand issued a statement yesterday. This, following a Newsday report with the claims based on alleged information from an unnamed couple detained in Jordan in January who gave information on the plot to disrupt Carnival.

Roopchand, his wife and two children were detained by Jordanian authorities in January. It was claimed they gave information on the reported threat to disrupt Carnival.

On February 8, police said they had credible information of such a plot . They searched homes and Mosques in the East-West corridor, South, Central and Tobago, detaining 15 people. Thirteen were released without charge. Several have sued the State .

Roopchand’s wife and children were deported in April. He returned at the end of May and was subjected to intensive police interviews before being released

The newspaper article claimed the unnamed couple while in Jordan, provided information on the Carnival plot with details of IED attack, poisoning with Sarin gas and “injection of another poison in pork and other meats at several groceries, especially Chinese (groceries) but no Muslim-owned groceries.”

Sarin is a highly toxic compound used as a chemical weapon due to extreme potency as a nerve agent.

The article claimed the unnamed couple spoke of “three masterminds” and 17 others who met in 2014 during Hajj and “secretive” cells involved.

It claimed the couple was accused of weapons training in the “Freeport and Matura forests,” and some named by the couple were among those arrested in Carnival searches.

Roopchand’s statement distanced himself, refuting claims.

He added: “Limitations of time and space don’t allow for a full, comprehensive response at this time, given that we are in the final days of the Muslim Holy Month of Ramadan, requiring additional prayer and reflection apart from the physical act of fasting from food and drink from dawn to sunset.”

“This article is a complete fabrication,” he added, denying claims he and his wife had been in military training, involved in terrorist activities or poisoning of food products.

He said the entire Jordan experience had traumatised the family. “Notwithstanding this situation, I’m fully prepared to make a more comprehensive statement in due course.”


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