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Five Trinidad and Tobago nationals, including three Muslim leaders, are being held in Venezuela amid charges of an alleged plot to overthrow the government of President Nicolas Maduro.
Rear Admiral Richard Kelshall, who headed a Trinidad and Tobago delegation to Caracas, told the Trinidad Express newspaper that “we are trying to have the Imams extricated from this situation, and we are working on that but this matter is extremely sensitive and we have to be careful.”
“We hope to secure a proper resolution to the matter, but I can’t discuss anything more about the men, since their case is before a Venezuelan court,” he said.
Kelshall returned here on Friday night, accompanied by six women and eight children, who had previously been arrested by the Venezuelan authorities during the week as part of the alleged plot.
Venezuelan media reports said that the five Trinidad and Tobago nationals had teamed up with rogue Venezuelan police officers and other men to carry out the plan.
The Express newspaper quoting intelligent sources, said that President Maduro had obtained crucial information about the plot from members of the El Servicio Bolivariano de Inteligencia Nacional (SEBIN) and they took the threat seriously.
The names of those involved in the alleged plot have been published in the Venezuelan newspaper and the Express newspaper said they also include a Guyanese and Haitian born naturalised citizens of Venezuela, who were being trained to handle firearms.
The men were held in the hotel with not only military uniforms but what they claim are jihadist videos, and new information suggests they also found laptops and satellite phones, which they say may have been provided to the group by the Venezuelan police, the newspaper reported.
The Venezuelan media said the men had appeared before the Anti-Terrorism Tribunal Court, but the Express newspaper said that the three Imams - Salam Abdul, Hamza Mohammad and Sheikh Hamid Hassan - are expected to be released either Monday or Tuesday next week and cleared of wrong-doing.
Earlier this week, Foreign Minister Winston Dookeran confirmed that the delegation would travel to Caracas for discussions aimed at resolving the matter.
The Trinidad Express had reported that the Venezuelan authorities had seized military-style uniforms and Jihadist videos from the group and had also confiscated US$102,000 in cash and 66 passports that were in the possession of one of the three Imams who insist they were not connected to the group.
The Imams said they had arrived in Caracas to secure visas at the Saudi Arabian consulate for Trinidadians wishing to go to the Hajj pilgrimage.
Head of the Islamic Front in Trinidad, Umar Abullah, said his group has been urging the government to establish diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia so as to facilitate visa and travel requirements to the holy land.
“It would prevent incidents like this with Imams having to travel to Venezuela with huge amounts of money and people’s passports if we can establish a Saudi consulate here,” he said.
I guess no one who has commented so far has seen the documentary Terror Storm ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrXgLhkv21Y ) Huh?
oh it's the Muslims, it's the Muslims!!... people are still falling that s***!!??
It's the u.s. over-throwal of venezuela part 2..
& how are 3 people (even in league with others) going to overthrow a government that builds a significant stockpile of it's own weapons? with it's own military, air-force, & navy?
I mean damn they even arrested women & children in league with the plot. obviously you can tell by now I have serious doubts.. Governments for centuries hype external & internal threats so they can enforce more oppressive laws against the population & centralize more control..
I don't see how some of you people in the u.s. could not know this. or not know Your seen around the world as a joke now in regards to how your government is pimping you... 6% approval rating on congress? That's un-heard of anywhere in the world..
But keep up your race bating & transgender arguments, & stay distracted with your petty socially authorized media hyped conflicts, while these bankers & multinational corporations strip your wealth to where you won't be able to feed yourself.
& News flash, the ukainian people didn't want to go along with the e.u. so they can be looted & bankrupted like the rest of the european countries, & their gov. got over thrown as well.. nothing to do with russia, which only secured it's bases & natural gas lines in the crimea... But russia deserves pay back, becasue they focked over the u.s. on syria by bringing about peaceful resolution, when the u.s. wanted a war..
However I digress, I'd be paranoid if I was leader of venezuela too, with the oil & the water aquifers the country holds & the rest of the resources... not too mention coming in on the heels of the last leader who got poisoned, or have we forgotten already?
What de ass this was the coup part two lma00000
Well if its true they should get the death penalty.
Now tell me what business these Trini Muslim leaders have in Venezuela when they are still investigating the 1990 coup in T&T. My people always medellin in other countries business and always trying to be in the spotlight, and they have enough problems to worry about in T&T. There is no place for radicals in the Caribbean !
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