Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 11th 2018 Contents news A5
Sunday, February 11, 2018
Legal bid for release of men detained in Carnival plot unlikely
Suspects still inside
STORIES BY GAIL ALEXANDER
Attorneys for the men detained in
last Thursday's police probe of a
Carnival disruption plot are making
legal bids for their release.
This, after the 48-hour period
in which the men could have been
detained without charges expired
between 7 am and 9 am yesterday.
Shamoon Mohammed, father of
detainee Tariq Mohammed, said he
was also sending a "demand letter"
to Commissioner of Police, Stephen
Williams and the arresting of icer,
seeking immediate release of his
son. But of icial sources told the
T&T Guardian the four men may
remain detained throughout Car-
nival. Mohammed said their attor-
ney yesterday began iling a writ of
habeas corpus to have Mohammed
released as the 48-hour detention
period ended yesterday.
Mohammed added, "We've com-
plied and co-operated. But the 48
hours expired and we felt they
should have freed him. Therefore,
we must ile this writ. We are also
sending the demand letter to the
CoP and arresting of icer."
He said Mohammed was allowed
to use a phone to call his family late
last Friday night. He asked for a
change of clothes as the police had
not inished their questioning.
Mohammed added, "When
police came last Thursday, they
requested Tariq to go with them
voluntarily, they didn't demand.
He wasn't handcuffed. Once he's
released, they're free to talk to him
and we invite them to search. But
they have no right to continue hold-
ing him at this point."
The writ was expected to be
completed by 4 pm yesterday. It
will be served today or tomorrow.
The attorney is seeking to have
Mohammed appear before a judge
for authorities to explain why he
continues to be detained and was
not charged. The family hoped the
application will be heard imme-
diately by a judge in chambers in
Mohammed said his other two
sons who were affected in last
Thursday's searches are writing
the Police Complaints Authority.
He said one was hit and the other
forced to lie down and his hands
were tied up.
There was heightened security
as Carnival 2018 got going yes-
terday with parade of children's
bands in downtown Port-of-Spain.
Security presence was highly vis-
ible in and around parade perim-
Security in T&T has been high
following searches at homes in El
Socorro and other areas---includ-
ing the Nur E Islam mosque---early
last Thursday. Several people
were detained concerning the
disruption plot. Police Informa-
tion of icer ASP Michael Jackman
revealed police had unearthed
credible information of a threat
to disrupt Carnival. He con irmed
the individuals planned to engage
in criminal conduct to disrupt Car-
Yesterday, Jackman con irmed
police investigations are continu-
There has been no con irma-
tion that any others have been
detained since Thursday. But se-
curity sources said "solid" inves-
tigations have been ongoing by
police across T&T for some time
on this matter and Thursday's
events "didn't just happen out of
They noted Government's man-
date for national agencies to rein-
force security systems following
word of T&T nationals joining Is-
lamic State over 2013 15 and also
after some nationals were sent
back to T&T from the Middle East
over 2016 17.
Rajaee Ali shifted from
Frederick Street prison
Amid the heightened security,
sources indicated murder accused
Rajaee Ali was shifted from the
Frederick Street prison last Friday
to the Maximum Security prison.
The Frederick Street prison is
along the Carnival parade route.
They also said a Cunupia mosque
was searched by police yesterday
afternoon. National Security Min-
ister Edmund Dillon did not an-
swer calls on this yesterday.
The family of another detainee,
Mustapha Khan, also said they
had spoken to attorneys and will
proceed "accordingly" to act after
the end of the 48 hours. "Let the
law take its course, he'll be vindi-
They said when police returned
to their El Socorro home with
sniffer dogs to do a second search
on Friday afternoon, they found
no guns or ammunition. They said
they only took documents.
"They were very courteous and
professional, no abuse or threats.
Fawaz is only 28 with a wife and
three-year-old child, he never had
any brush with the law," they said.
Ali's relatives said their attor-
ney was iling a writ seeking his
"But we're hearing they
wouldn't release them before the
Carnival. It's very sad. Fawaz had
made plans for the long Carnival
weekend to ix the house and his
truck," they added.
"We've been able to drop food
for him at the (police) station, but
we can't see him. An of icer said
we could bring his Qur'an for him
A fourth, allegedly one Eddie
Ishmael Aleong, from Enterprise,
is also still in custody. The men
are detained at different East-West
Corridor police stations.
•See Page A6
In an exclusive Sunday
Guardian interview in
February 2017, Tariq
Mohammed had appealed
to T&T authorities to clear
his name after the Islamic
studies scholar returned
home after being detained
in Saudi Arabia for 16
months. T&T police had also
questioned him on links to
terrorism before he left for
Saudi Arabia in 2015.
When he arrived in Saudi
in 2015, he was detained
and questioned by Saudis
about suspicion of terrorism.
Mohammed---a student at
the University of Medina
for seven years---was not
charged and was released.
He arrived home last
December and was grilled by
Immigration for two hours.
Mohammed, the nephew
of attorney Nafeesa
instances of perceived
torture. He had warned
that one could fall victim
to entrapment in Saudi
Arabia. He had also said
that after his experience he
wasn't encouraging anyone
to "'study anything in the
During his detention in Saudi
prisons, he was alongside
inmates including scholars,
political prisoners and people
who fought in Afghanistan.
He said he was asked about
Isis and about T&T people
who joined (Isis) and was
told Saudi agencies had a
close eye on the university he
attended and "hunted it" for
He had said "T&T is a
nice place, let's stay out of
fighting any war and live
peacefully. The way things
are going, you have to keep
your distance." (GA)
Muslim Roundtable frowns upon action by lawmen
The Muslim Roundtable (MR)
has expressed concern about
certain alleged action in Thurs-
The MR was formed last
year, under the auspices of
the National Security Ministry
and US Embassy, with Muslim
groups to counter extremism.
MR head Hafeez Khan, en
route to the Middle East for
prayers, said, "The Roundta-
ble wants clari ication on the
recent raids at masjids.
We commend security agen-
cies for their intelligence gath-
ering and follow-up action to
negate any threat to security.
We commend respect shown
to places of worship, but the
process of breaking down
and shooting down doors of
innocent persons and injuring
them cannot be condoned.
"We hope the same diligence
applies to the situation that re-
sulted in the record number of
murders in the last two years.
We're willing to work with
agencies on strategies to help
reduce any threat coming from
within the Muslim commu-
Islamic Front leader Umar
Abdullah said yesterday the
48-hour detention period had
passed without any credible
"information" being produced.
"In one case we heard a blue
camouflage pants was found
but everyone has such types of
We also have concerns about
the building Rajaee Ali is now
being held in."
Soldiers patrol Mustapha Lane in El Socorro, as police continued their search of the home of the suspects involved in
a plot to disrupt Carnival activities on Friday.
PICTURE ABRAHAM DIAZ
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