Griffith hits out at authorities for "silence" over alleged ISIS threat

Tuesday, May 24, 2016 - 00:00

Former National Security Minister, Gary Griffith, is hitting out at authorities for their silence over audio recordings alleging that ISIS operatives plan to bomb malls in Trinidad and Tobago this weekend.

Griffith issued the following statement today:

"A new trend has emerged of “advisories” being passed and even becoming viral, on various matters through social media on a regular basis. 

These so called advisories are unfounded, most being extracted from North American scenarios in small cities, with the insertion of names of places in our country, and have varied from advisories of naked women knocking on your door, but they are really trying to rob you, to persons stealing your license plates and then flagging you down on the highway so you would stop and they would then steal your car.

Unfortunately, these messages are being passed between citizens due to the total absence of our own Government and Law Enforcement Officials making a single statement on matters, so citizens, because of such absence of duty, have now seen it fit to become their brother’s keeper, which has included unfounded security advisories being passed on social media and causing even more panic.

The latest has involved a possible ISIS terrorist attack on our shopping malls this weekend. Again, there has been a deafening silence by the Ministry of National Security, the SSA, and the Law Enforcement Agencies, to give a sense of assurance to the public about this ‘advisory’.

The National Operations Centre was established to do just that, which is to provide real time information to the public, by providing public awareness so perception may not become reality in the minds of many.

But just as the NOC had failed miserably during the day of Total Policing , and the Prison Jail break by providing absolutely no coordination or communication, especially in public awareness , the NOC has yet again failed the country, and all because the relevant officials simply not understanding how such a system is designed to work to assist the public in such matters, and this lack of understanding has been further exacerbated by the NOC being subsumed within an Intelligence organization.

Additionally , in similar manner to the US having a Terrorist Advisory to prepare for such unconfirmed reports, I had established a colour coded National Alert State, but as with all other policies established, because of petty politics, this has also been shut down .

In the absence of proper information being passed to the public on this latest ‘‘advisory” being passed, as the previous Minister of National of Security and member of the Alliance of Independents, I wish to advise the public on this matter regarding a planned ISIS attack this weekend in our country :

The role of a terrorist is not just to use violence, but also to “threaten “ the use of violence , all for the same aim, which is to cause fear.

I ask all citizens not to fall prey to this method by those who either want to cause such panic, or simply feel obliged to spread such propaganda throughout the country.

We should take advisories solely from the authorized Agencies.

But unfortunately, because of the glaring absence by the NOC and Ministry of National Security in doing their job, citizens may tend to accept other advisories due to such a void being created.

However, in this case, it should be noted that ISIS, apart from being a radical terrorist Unit, is also a highly professional and well-structured Establishment, being very meticulous and secretive in their operations, and not once has there been a breach in their operational plans prior to a terrorist attack, with leaks being created and being made public prior to their attack.

Their operations have been highly covert, with all their attacks taking place without any Agency being aware of the attack until it took place. That being the case, it is virtually impossible that they would have such breach now in a country where the 32 citizens who have been confirmed as ISIS members are not even in our country, so based on this , as well as no stated credible threat or Intelligence being received by any Law Enforcement Agency locally or Internationally, about such a possible attack, the public should not be fearful about this unsubstantiated statement by an anonymous person.

Having said this, the public, whilst not being fearful, should indeed always be careful as we live in dangerous times, and the State should be placing public awareness campaigns, whereby each and every citizen can understand the role they have to play, via the motto “ if you see something , say something”, which assists the law enforcement agencies in doing their job, and causes preventative measures, as on many occasions, citizens, providing those extra ears and eyes, have tipped off agencies prior to any possible security threat taking place .

Again, it this regard, this is the work of the NOC, which continues to remain dormant."