Jul 6, 2024

Cult infiltrates Trinidad's elite spy agency in shocking coup plot

The cult, identified by local media as led by Pastor Ian Brown, a self-proclaimed spy charged with misbehaviour in public office, had deeply embedded itself within the SSA.

Alek Buttermann 
bne IntelliNews
July 4, 2024

In a bombshell revelation, Trinidad and Tobago's Prime Minister Keith Rowley has exposed a chilling conspiracy within the country’s elite Strategic Services Agency (SSA). The SSA, a cornerstone in the nation's fight against crime, was reportedly infiltrated by a sinister religious cult with a treasonous mission to overthrow the government.

An explosive audit, conducted by acting SSA director Brigadier General Anthony Phillips-Spencer, revealed that the agency had been compromised for years. Cult members, disguised as SSA operatives, established a militarised unit armed with high-grade weaponry and were allegedly plotting a coup to seize political power. The massive extent of this infiltration had gone unnoticed by the administration until now.

The esoteric cult, identified by local media as led by Pastor Ian Brown – a self-proclaimed spy charged with misbehaviour in public office – had deeply embedded itself within the SSA. Rowley, addressing Parliament on July 3, described how the cult's adepts, including highly trained military personnel, were covertly employed by the SSA and influenced its operations. "Such persons belonged to a cult which was arming itself while preaching a doctrine for trained military and paramilitary personnel with a religious calling to be the most suitable to replace the country's political leadership," Rowley stated, highlighting the grave threat to national security.

The clandestine group's activities included the unauthorised establishment of a Tactical Response Unit, comprising former commandos. This unit, operational until its abrupt termination in March, raised alarming questions about its true purpose. The audit also uncovered that the SSA had accumulated an arsenal of over 100 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition under dubious circumstances. The procurement included military-grade weapons and accessories, all without proper authorisation or oversight.

The Prime Minister questioned the need for such an extensive and sophisticated arsenal within an intelligence agency. "Why would an intelligence-gathering agency need 103 firearms of different types and calibre, and why would it need 100,000 rounds of ammunition in 2022 alone?" Rowley asked, underscoring the shocking nature of these findings. The probe revealed that the former SSA director had initiated the procurement of these weapons and trained personnel in their use, actions that were illegal and occurred before Parliament granted permission for select SSA employees to carry pistols in November 2023.

One of the most startling revelations was the disappearance of 70,000 rounds of ammunition, unrecorded and unaccounted for. This discrepancy has prompted a criminal investigation into the SSA's operations. The audit also found that arms and ammunition were transferred from the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) to the SSA without proper authorisation. These weapons were never received by the SSA's Guard Unit, leading to charges against both SSA and TTPS personnel.

The infiltration extended to high-ranking officials within the SSA. Deputy Director of Intelligence Joanne Bartholomew-Daniel, who had ties to Major Roger Best, the ousted SSA head, was suspended along with 11 other employees, all linked to the Jerusalem Bride Church. This shadowy organisation, run by Pastor Ian Brown, was arming itself and preparing for a doomsday scenario, indoctrinating its members with the belief that they were destined to replace the country's leadership.

Further complicating the scandal, police are investigating the November 11, 2023 murder of Bartholomew-Daniel’s estranged husband, Andy Daniel. The murder, which occurred under suspicious circumstances, may have involved SSA assets, adding another layer of intrigue to this already convoluted saga.

Rowley emphasised the urgent need for enhanced oversight and accountability within the SSA. He reassured the nation that the agency's core functions remain operational but stressed the utmost importance of restoring trust and ensuring national security.

This shocking exposé has rocked the Caribbean island, raising critical questions about the integrity and oversight of the country's security apparatus. The full extent of the cult's influence and the potential ramifications for national security are still to be determined, with ongoing investigations promising to reveal even more staggering details.


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