Guyana to establish counter-terrorism unit- Ali

Last Updated on Friday, 28 April 2023, 21:42 by Denis Chabrol

President Irfaan Ali has announced that a counter-terrorism unit would be established with foreign help, weeks after the American Embassy had tightened its security because of a threat against US interests.

“We are also now analysing the establishment of a counter-terrorism unit that will  be built with support from our regional and international partners,” he told Thursday’s opening of the Guyana Police Force’s annual officers’ conference.

His announcement came almost one month after the US Embassy in Georgetown had said that out of an abundance of caution, Americans here were alerted that the embassy has increased security protocols due to receiving threats against U.S. interests.

On Thursday, US Ambassador to Guyana Sarah-Ann Lynch skirted direct questions about whether the threat level has been reduced but credited Guyanese law enforcement agencies for their inputs. “We take any threats to the US Embassy and US interests very seriously and we have addressed that threat and we are pleased that we were able to work with local law enforcement and we have the full support of the government,” she said.

Well-placed sources in Suriname have indicated that American authorities were concerned that a suspected Pakistani terrorist might have crossed into Guyana.

Suriname’s Foreign Minister Albert Ramdin was quoted recently in that country’s De Ware Tijd newspaper that there appeared to have been an increase in the number of Indians, Pakistanis, Nepalese and Cubans arriving in that former Dutch colony.

Guyana’s Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn had said that there was no noticeable spike in the arrival of those nationalities and whenever they arrive here they are sent back to the last country. He had said that most of those aliens’ destination would be the Mexico-US Ambassador relations.