November 11, 2019

Jamaica’s security minister defends $4m spent to deport Abu Bakr


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peter-buntingFrom Caribbean360

KINGSTON, , Wednesday October 22, 2014, CMC – National Security Minister Peter Bunting has sought to justify the amount of money spent to deport , leader of the Jaamat Al Muslimeen in Trinidad and Tobago.

In a statement to Parliament on Tuesday, Bunting said the JA$4 million spent to send Bakr back to Trinidad last week Wednesday, should be regarded as a home insurance premium.

The National Security Minister was responding to criticisms about the cost incurred last week to deport Abu Bakr on a private jet.

“I regard this expenditure the same way I do a home insurance policy.We regret having to pay the premium when nothing happens but we are really happy to have that insurance n place when a hurricane hits,” he said.

He told the House that an attempt was made to return the Muslim leader on a Caribbean Airlines (CAL) flight, but Abu Bakr did not cooperate and had to be accompanied by immigration and security personnel .

“He was placed in an economy class seat, but became boisterous, un-cooperative and refused to comply, citing medical issues among other reasons,” the minister said.

Abu Bakr had came to Jamaica last week to attend the 19th anniversary celebration of the Nation of Islam’s Million Man March, but was denied entry by Immigration officials.

Bunting noted that CAL authorities indicated that it would be a breach of security protocol to have a non-compliant passenger fly in the first class cabin which, in any event, was already booked.

He said that the flight was unwilling to depart, given Abu Bakr’s display of resistance, and the entire flight was at risk of being cancelled as the other passengers became increasingly concerned.

Bunting referred to Section 28 of Jamaica’s which states that “ in these circumstances, it is the duty of the State that refuses a person leave to land to bear the cost of the return of the individual from its public funds.”

The minister said it was “clearly in the interest of national security to not allow Abu Bakr to land in Jamaica and to remove him from Jamaica at the earliest opportunity”.

Bunting said his ministry’s security planning did not recognise the Nation of Islam as representing any threat. However, it considered the possibility that the occasion might be used as a cover for others to enter Jamaica for purposes detrimental to national security.

“While the cost of Abu Bakr’s removal by a private charter was significant, it pales in comparison to what the attempted coup d’etat cost Trinidad in 1990, or what a terrorist incident would cost Jamaica today, or even with the billions of dollars that the mishandling of the Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke extradition cost this country in 2010,” he stated.

Bunting said there was a possibility that there are now connections between radicals and militants in Trinidad, and some of the most dangerous and ruthless terrorist organisations in the world.

IMAGE: National Security Minister Peter Bunting (File photo)

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