Be careful of the social media lies.
This warning came from acting Minister of National Security Stuart Young on Friday.
Speaking at a news conference at Riverside Plaza, Port of Spain, Young said on a daily basis he noticed people using social media to spread lies.
Young said Thursday’s “bomb threat” at Trincity Mall was only one such example, noting that people had begun to circulate “complete lies” that shots had been fired at the mall.
Young, who is also acting Attorney General, questioned what was the purpose of people putting out such false information.
Asked if voice recordings circulating on social media warning of impending terrorist attacks were just mischief as well and should be disregarded, Young said intelligence agencies have been able to make “certain findings” about the recordings.
He declined to elaborate on what these findings were, saying it was a national security issue.
He however said he had to be careful in making any public pronouncements on the validity of the recordings, as there were other issues to consider such as “copycats” and other persons wanting to cause mischief.
Young again lauded the police and other law enforcement agencies for the “quick, efficient and expeditious manner” in which they responded to Thursday’s incident.
He said the incident demonstrated how well-prepared law enforcement agencies are to handle such matters, adding that protocols have been in place even before this incident.
“Authorities are monitoring via interception and human intelligence means, they have been working even before these things came to the fore and they will continue working. What yesterday (Thursday) showed is that there are protocols in place, they are prepared, they are able to mobilise and execute what they have been trained to do,” he added.
Young said such threats are not abnormal or unusual across the world.
“This is something that every government and every law enforcement agency across the globe in sophisticated countries are dealing with,” he said. “The good news is it is being monitored and we have certain things set up and in place for any eventuality.”
He said the public can go on about their lives and enjoy the long holiday weekend.
Nevertheless, he advised that persons be alert and careful.