Security at Petrotrin installations was beefed last night as the state-owned oil company raised its threat alert after a cryptic warning was issued in a video posted on Youtube from the group Anonymous T&T.Yesterday, the group, which has described itself as a "loosely associated international network of human/civil/animal activist," issued the threat as it called on the company to come "clean" on the Marabella oil spill and its impact on residents.
The video was highlighted on the CNC3 7 pm newscast last night. It was filmed as a news bulletin and featured an individual dressed in black and wearing a Guy Fawkes mask. In the video, the individual alleged Petrotrin was not being open with the nation on the impact the July oil spill, which saw 8,000 barrels of oil leaking into the Guaracara River, is having on Marabella residents.
The video ended ominously with the individual stating: "We are anonymous. We are a legion. Consider this a warning. Expect us."Last night, Petrotrin president Khalid Hassanali told the T&T Guardian the threat was not being taken lightly."All threats are taken seriously and will be reported to the police.
"I was not aware that anything like this was coming, I was taken by surprise this afternoon (yesterday). Our chief security officer will be handling the matter shortly," Hassanali said in a telephone interview.He said Energy Minister Kevin Ramnarine was informed about the video and steps were being taken to address the contents of the video. Petrotrin's chief security officer was "assessing the security at the refinery and installations," Hassanali added.
At press time, the number views on the video stood at 301, with 28 people liking it and five people disliking it.The cloaked individual, speaking with a distorted voice in the video, said: "It has come to our attention that a resident of Marabella, Akimoo Roger, claimed his daughter and wife are still sick and is calling on state-owned oil company Petrotrin to release medical reports and provide compensation to the residents."
The person went on to say: "We have reason to believe that their illness is caused by the use of Corexit 9500 in the waters of the surrounding areas used to accelerate the process of degrading oil."We also have suspicion to believe that it was also what caused the death of the couple who went swimming in the waters of the La Brea area earlier in 2014, not long after they dispersed Corexit 9500 to clean up a total of 11 oil spills which occurred between 17 December 2013 and 29 December 2013."
However, Hassanali last evening denied Corexit was used in the clean-up efforts in Marabella or La Brea."I want to assure that Corexit was not used in the clean-up in the river and in the spill that took place on December 17 last year. Corexit was used more than one mile offshore Pointe-a-Pierre and nowhere else," he said.
Hassanali said he did not understand why such a video was made, especially since the company has been meeting with a committee that was formed by the residents.e said he also was not familiar with the name Akimoo Roger nor was he aware residents were experiencing medical problems.
He said when the oil spilled into the river, Petrotrin's medical team immediately addressed the heath concerns of residents directly affected. He said from his understanding persons who were asthmatic were the only ones who had some issues."My understanding is that most of those have cleared up now," he added.
Who is Anonymous
Anonymous is a loosely associated international network of activist and hacktivist entities.The group became known for a series of well-publicised publicity stunts and distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks on government, religious and corporate Web sites.Anonymous members (known as "Anons") can be distinguished in public by the wearing of stylised Guy Fawkes masks.Targets of Anonymous hacktivism included government agencies of the US, Israel, Tunisia, Uganda and others.