Notes from a small island
A weblog by Jonathan Ali

Thursday, January 30, 2003  

The "terror threat" story has been slowly making its way overseas. There is an article on it in today's UK Independent, and a news story ran today on BBC World that asked the question "Tropical terror?" alongside an interview with the Foreign Affairs Minister, Knowlson Gift, who took the opportunity not only to reassure viewers that there was no credible terrorist threat, but also to get in a few pot shots at Basdeo Panday and the opposition. Thank you, sir, for dragging our petty local politics onto international television.

Both the Independent and BBC World stories take this terrorist threat quite seriously, with the Independent saying the idea of a secret chemical lab here is "plausibly alarming" and that the group behind it, though unknown, is "likely to be related" to the group that attempted to stage a coup in 1990, the Jamaat al-Muslimeen. I'd love to know how the reporter (writing out of Los Angeles) came to this latter conclusion; though my own feelings against Abu Bakr and the Muslimeen run deep, I think it highly unlikely they've got anything to do with this matter.

Perhaps, though, the best assessment of the matter will come in the next issue of the Economist. My friend Mark Wilson, the magazine's Caribbean correspondent, wrote a substantial article which his editor in London chopped down to four sentences, the last one being, and I paraphrase, "There may or there may not be a poison chemicals lab in Trinidad, but there certainly is a lot of poison in Trinidad politics."

posted by Jonathan | 10:09 PM 0 comments


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