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Guyana flights operating normally after US security threat warning
Published on February 11, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Caribbean Airlines Boeing 737-800

By Caribbean News Now contributor

GEORGETOWN, Guyana -- The US embassy in Georgetown, Guyana, said on Sunday it has received unconfirmed threat information relating to Caribbean Airlines flights destined for the United States departing on Monday.

The embassy said in a security alert to American citizens that the threat related to Caribbean Airlines flights from Guyana to the US between Monday and Wednesday.

"Out of an abundance of caution" it advised US citizens intending to travel on those flights from Monday, February 10, through Wednesday, February 12, 2014, to "make alternate travel arrangements".

Extra security measures were put in place at Cheddi Jagan International Airport, but the Trinidad-based airline was operating normally out of Guyana on Monday with a flight to New York reportedly departing at dawn.

"The officials assessed the threat and put in place a number of measures to prevent any untoward occurrence," the airport authority said in a statement late on Sunday.

Passengers and other airport users were asked to be on the lookout for any suspicious activities or occurrences and report the same to an airport security official.

The heightened security will remain in place over a number of days until such time as the threat is no longer considered valid.

Garvin Heerah, director of the National Security Operations Centre (NSOC) in Trinidad said NSOC was coordinating via Civil Aviation TT with all agencies at Piarco International airport and there were contingencies in place to deal with all threats regarding the Caribbean Airlines situation.

Caribbean Airlines communications manager Clint Williams said Caribbean Airlines was working closely with all authorities to ensure appropriate security protocols are followed.

All Caribbean Airlines flights from Georgetown operated as scheduled on Monday and all flights will operate as scheduled on Tuesday.

"Further high level collaboration today between the airline and all involved authorities from law enforcement, civil aviation and airports have concluded that the security arrangements currently in place will assure passenger, aircraft and crew safety," he said.

While the nature of the threat has not yet been disclosed, in December 2010 Abdul Kadir, a former People's National Congress parliamentarian in Guyana, was jailed for life by a federal judge in Brooklyn, New York.

The cargo handler at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport was found guilty in August 2010, along with Russel De Freitas, a co-worker, after a month long trial, for plotting to blow up fuel tanks at the airport.

Federal agents arrested the two men and another individual after an informant infiltrated the terror plot and recorded them discussing it. Prosecutors contended that the men sought to help militant Muslims.

The threat warning by the US embassy in Guyana was issued the same day as a meeting of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) opened in Georgetown.
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