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Trini held in Jordan after Carnival terror plot returns home

Friday, June 1, 2018

Keegan Roopchand, who was detained in Jordan since January— allegedly concerning Carnival terror threat information—has returned home.

And another T&T family, who had also been detained in Jordan since January—and had experienced travel issues due to being “red flagged—has also returned home.

Attorney Nafeesa Mohammed confirmed Roopchand, of Sangre Grande, returned home on Tuesday after four months of detention.

She said the second family— from Central Trinidad—also returned home on Monday.

Roopchand and the second family have returned within days of last Sunday’s story regarding their detention in Jordan, and Mohammed’s continued appeals for assistance with their return.

Roopchand, his wife Zaida Mohammed and their two children—both under age ten—were halted in Jordan in January when his wife was going to study nursing. Roopchand was going to do Islamic studies.

Other reports stated foreign agencies detained them in collaboration with TT agencies and they’d given information” on the February Carnival threat alert.

The alert spawned a week of police searches and detentions all over T&T.

Fifteen people were detained. All but two were released without charge. The two were charged with gun possession. Security and Government agencies maintained there had been a credible threat to disrupt the Carnival.

Three months after the detention of Roopchand and his family, his wife and two children—who had been cared for in a children’s facility—were deported to T&T via Germany in April. Roopchand did not return.

While detained in Jordan, Roopchand had been subjected to questioning at various locations. When his wife and children were deported in April, he was shifted to another location, sources said.

In subsequent weeks since then he was informed that he should make travel plans to return home. He was allowed an opportunity to send a message to his family in the last two weeks and requested a ticket to travel. He finally arrived home Tuesday via Panama.

Security sources confirmed that immediately as he arrived, he was detained by local police and subjected to a rigorous questioning process. He was eventually released Wednesday evening and left for home with his father and brother who went to meet him.

Attorney Mohammed, who represented the family said: “He has a large beard and is very drawn looking and obviously lost weight. My information is that while detained in Jordan he was interviewed several times including being kept in solitary confinement for several weeks, and subjected to intensive questioning by Jordanian authorities, the FBI and on one occasion a T&T law enforcement officer.”

National Security officials said last night Roopchand was detained overseas “central to the Carnival terror threat alert” and on arrival in T&T on Tuesday was “properly interviewed and will be carefully managed.”


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