PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Monday May 30, 2016 – With yet another voice note warning of terrorist attacks in Trinidad and Tobago – this time in the twin island republic’s schools – Education Minister Anthony Garcia is urging teachers and students not to panic, describing the person responsible for the latest audio recording as someone with a deranged mind.
Last week, police were investigating two audio recordings in which two men claimed that shopping malls would be attacked between last Thursday and Sunday. Police received a call on Thursday from someone who said that “something would happen” at the Trincity Mall. That prompted an evacuation of the shopping centre, but the green light was subsequently given for business to resume and the alleged hoax caller was arrested within hours.
Then on Friday, a recording of a man claiming that terror group ISIS planned to blow up schools, began circulating on social media.
“The word is that Isis has planned to blow up the schools so please keep your sons and your daughters and your nephews and your grandchildren away from the schools please. This is not no joke, this is not no kicks,” a male voice is heard saying, adding that that there would be no Caribbean Examination Council (CXC) examinations on Wednesday.
However, Minister Garcia told the Trinidad Guardian that the matter had been reported to the relevant authorities for further investigation and there would be school as usual.
“There will be no disruption to the CXC exams…Ignore that message, as it was somebody with a deranged mind who is trying to instill fear in the minds of our population. It is something we totally reject,” he added.
“I am confident that all security measures are in place so that in the event there is any truth to these rumors, we will be prepared…You have absolutely nothing to fear or to believe that would cause any undue stress to the exams,” Garcia added, in a message to students, teachers and parents.
Although saying he believed the audio recording was a prank, the minister said he would speak to the National Maintenance Training and Security (MTS) Company Limited to ensure that schools are safe.