On July 27, 1990, a Muslim organization known as Jamaat al Muslimeen launched a coup to overthrow the government of Trinidad and Tobago.
According to The Huffington Post, 42 insurgents stormed the nation’s parliament while “another 72 rebels attacked the offices of Trinidad & Tobago Television,” a state-owned television broadcaster that at the time was the only television operator in the country.
Following a television announcement by Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr that the coup had been successful and that he needed the nation’s citizens to remain calm and refrain from looting, widespread looting broke out across the capital city of Port of Spain.
During the next six days, looting and chaos spread across the country, 24 people were killed, the prime minister was shot but survived and the country was “forever changed,” as noted by Vice magazine.
“That coup affected the nation, the society on a whole physically, psychologically, and otherwise,” inspector Roger Alexander of a special police task force in Port of Spain remarked to Vice. “It showed the weakness, and when weakness is exposed, many people take advantage.”
What’s fascinating — and perhaps even telling — is that according to the U.S. State Department, in 1990 approximately 6 percent of the population was Muslim. Yet despite such a small percentage of the population being of the Islamic faith, Jamaat al Muslimeen was nevertheless able to cause such widespread damage and destruction.
Thankfully, the coup ended on August 1 due to the nation’s military, though repercussions have persisted in Trinidad and Tobago since that horrifying week, as the country’s murder rate has reportedly skyrocketed.
Moreover, according to Vice, many “attribute the rise of violence in the country to a precedent that Bakr set by going after the government.”
“It taught gun diplomacy,” remarked Hal Greaves, a local community activist.
That gun diplomacy was brought to the people of Trinidad and Tobago by a radical Islamic terrorist who seems to feels no remorse over what he did.
“I’ve been charged with treason, I’ve been charged with sedition, with murder, conspiracy to murder, (stockpiling) guns … nothing has stuck, because it’s fabricated,” he told Vice. They list all the charges in a book, and they just throw the book at me … That’s not prosecution, that’s persecution!”
Correction: Brought to the people of Trinidad and Tobago by a radical Islamic terrorist with a persecution complex.
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