the lower half of George Street, Port-of-Spain, remained cordoned
off, a man makes a purchase from a vendor yesterday afternoon,
north of Queen Street, hours after a device exploded under
a pile of rubbish.
Senior members of the Criminal Investigations Department and
members of the Special Anti-Crime Unit confirmed yesterday
that a local terrorist was now prowling downtown Port-of-Spain.
This, as a second device exploded on George Street, about
100 metres north of the Cathedral of Immaculate Conception.
But yesterdays blast, on the eve of the anniversary
of the explosion on Frederick Street last month, did not result
in any panic in the capital.
Investigators, along with forensic experts, said they strongly
believed that the inclement weather averted possible casualties
and injuries, as shoppers and pedestrians were sheltering
from the heavy downpour.
Even so, the blast left several shoppers, vendors, pedestrians
and drivers in fear.
Police Commissioner Trevor Paul, who accompanied a team of
investigators to the scene, said the explosion was consistent
with a low-powered explosive device, similar to the one which
went off on Frederick Street.
Yesterdays device was hidden beneath a heap of dirt,
atop which there was a pile of garbage.
The blast, which occurred at around 11.40 am, ripped apart
piece of the pavement, throwing concrete and other debris
on the roadway.
Paul said investigators would pursue an aggressive investigation
to bring those responsible for the act to justice.
However, a source close to the investigation said law enforcement
officers were given a mandate to find the man who was now
being branded by authorities as a local terrorist.
The source said investigators and experts from the Forensic
Science Centre shared the view that the perpetrator was crafty
and had it down choke.
Fragments and other components found yesterday by forensic
experts were similar to what was recovered on Frederick Street.
Analysis by forensic examiners showed that potassium chlorate,
a chemical that can be combined with other chemicals to create
an explosive device, had been used in the Frederick Street
Investigators said some of the evidence was washed away yesterday
because of the downpour.
They said they believed the same chemical was used in yesterdays
The source said that fortunately, the device was put under
dirt and garbage and this would have cushioned the blast.
Another senior investigator said like the July 11 incident,
yesterdays would be also difficult to solve unless anyone
saw who planted the device.
He said investigators must get information to identify who
The investigator said his team suspected that the device had
been planted a few hours before it detonated, but he could
not give an exact time.
The Customs and Excise Canine Unit was also summoned to the
However, the sniffer dogs did not detect anything.
Two men who told police they were in the immediate area when
the explosion went off were quickly taken to Besson Street
They gave statements and were allowed to leave.
Police said they were not suspected of any wrongdoing.
The senior policeman said there was also no fresh leads in
the Frederick Street explosion, although 43 witnesses were
Anyone with information about yesterdays explosion
on George Street, Port-of-Spain, is asked to call the police
or Crime Stoppers at 800-TIPS (800-8477). Crime Stoppers said
yesterday that it would pay up to $25,000 for information
leading to the arrest of anyone involved in any such explosion.