Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : February 25th 2018 Contents news A7
Sunday, February 25, 2018
• From Page A6
When Bakr led the 1990 attempted
coup, gunmen stormed the only
television station, TTT and the
Parliament where prime minister
Robinson and other MPs were held
hostage for six days before a surren-
der was negotiated via an amnesty,
later declared to be invalid.
"They don't believe in the need
for that (kind of attack), the Jamaat
had a speci ic need and that is why
they chose that method, their po-
sition today especially those who
abide by the teachings of the Islamic
State is that you have to inflict max-
imum civilian casualties which then
rocks the political structure," Figue-
"Just look at what they did in Paris
and in Brussels and that will illus-
trate their agenda, so if we have any
attack in Trinidad and Tobago we
have to expect that it will be an at-
tack that would target civilians in a
weak and acceptable environment
and to carry out an attack that is es-
pecially violent, blood letting, where
the media of the world will carry it.
They want maximum impact locally
and internationally," he said.
Figueira said that is why Carnival
would have been a "major target."
"Remember, they (extremists) will
have multiple ways of doing it so you
can very well have Improvised Ex-
plosive Devices (IED) placed at the
side of the road etc, but more impor-
tantly we must understand in a situ-
ation like that the latest technique
they use now is IEDs combined with
suicide bombers," Figueira said.
"So that is what we have to look
at, the use of suicide bombers in
conjunction with IEDs. So they will
plant those ideally in any area where
the crowd is thick from wall to wall
on a street and then the suicide
bombers will go into the crowd and
that is how they will detonate it."
‘You can never have
100 % readiness for the
methods they are using’
Figueira said no matter what, a
country could never be 100 per cent
ready for that kind of attack.
"First thing we have to accept is
that you can never have 100 per cent
readiness for the methods they are
using because in order to pick up on
it you have to have somebody from
within coming to tell you, or they
are being very sloppy in the way
they are doing it. So that is the irst
thing if we want to expect 100 per
cent readiness that is pie in the sky."
Days before this year's Carnival,
the Trinidad and Tobago Police Ser-
vice (TTPS) announced that there
was a threat to disrupt the celebra-
tions. In all, 15 people were held and
Figueira said the TTPS handled
the situation in textbook coun-
"What happened prior to Carnival
was ratcheting up the level of en-
gagement, so you see what you must
understand is when you go and pick
up people you send a message out,
and they (potential terrorists) now
have to sit down and wonder if they
are next and this puts them on the
"What it does, is it does not
give them free space to plan,
to operate and to execute," he
Figueira said in counter-ter-
rorism circles this technique is
known as "beating the brush."
"It followed the play book, the
methods used followed the play
book," Figueira said.
People running out of the Red House during the attempted coup.
A detainee is closely
guarded by soldiers.
Pay attention to young
men, women being
recruited as jihadists
Counter-Terrorism Unit needed
Former National Operations Centre
(NOC) executive director Garvin Heerah
said as chair of the National Security
Council the PM would be privileged to
certain information that would and can
prompt his statements.
"Our armed forces are quite equipped
both in training and resources to
address threats and attacks of certain
levels. What is a cause for concern,
however, is our failure to co-ordinate
national operations. Utilising the
technology and the inter-agency
collaborative framework. Our capacities
remain siloed without an integrated
approach. In a crisis such as a terror
attack, this could very well work against
us," Heerah said.
He called for the establishment of a
"To effectively deal with Counter-
terrorism T&T needs to establish a
separate Counter-Terrorism Centre/
Unit. A dedicated established platform
with a highly trained response force.
An intelligence capability with
technologically driven resources. This
centre must be modelled against a
backdrop of international best practice
and be able to look at Counter-terrorism
holistically, involving foreign language
and border control measures. That we
should know, such planning and policy-
driven strategies are all part of the
Homeland Security Concept," he said.
Heerah also warned that the
authorities need to pay attention
to the increase of young men and
women being recruited and now being
identified as jihadists here.
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