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Flashback: Law enforcement officials as they moved to detain and search the properties of 15 people in connection with the alleged plot to disrupt the 2018 Carnival festivities.

Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi says matters concerning the 2018 terror plot in this country are currently with law enforcement and the Director of Public Prosecution’s (DPP’s) office.

The AG commented on the 2018 matter yesterday, saying “That’s a matter for law enforcement to speak to. As far as I’m concerned there are always ongoing matters related to the Carnival plot and matters of an anti-terrorism nature including the financing of terrorism. All I can say is there continues to be significant work in TT by law enforcement and prosecutors and I’m convinced it’s being managed well.”

In February 2018 approximately 13 people from points around the country – including Aranguez, Central, South and the East/West corridor – were detained by police and their homes searched. Police revealed it was in connection with a plot to disrupt the Carnival. The 13 were however released, largely without charge.

A married couple were the only ones charged – allegedly with possession of a gun cleaning kit. The government subsequently said plot information was received from foreign partners.

Last July, chief of the U.S. Embassy’s Military Liaison Office Claudia Carrizales said the 2018 Carnival plot was not a hoax saying, “It had been real and we were able to address that threat,” she added.

After the detainees were released in 2018, attorneys for the majority of them wrote Government threatening legal action for wrongful arrest and detention. Sources said yesterday several matters have been sent to court and dates for hearings are being awaited.

Al-Rawi declined to comment on that, save to say there are “on-going work matters”, his office as the Central Authority is in touch with international agencies and “there continues to be robust application of all agencies together.”

Contacted by the Trinidad Guardian on the 2018 matter, Police Commissioner Gary Griffith declined to comment on that specifically.

But Griffith noted, “However there would be people deemed to be possible enemies of the state and they are being continuously closely monitored to ensure that – in the words of the band ‘The Police’s’ 1983 hit – every move they make, every step they take, we’ll be watching them.”