- Jamaat al Muslimeen coup attempt
July 27, 1990, 114 members of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, led by Yasin Abu Bakrand Bilaal Abdullahattempted to stage a coup d'étatagainst the government of Trinidad and Tobago. Forty-two insurgents stormed the Red House (the seat of Parliament) and took the Prime Minister, A.N.R. Robinson and most of his Cabinet hostage, including Horace James, while seventy-two of their compatriots attacked the offices of Trinidad and Tobago Television(TTT), then the only television station in the country and the Trinidad Broadcasting Company, then one of only two radio stations in the country. At 6.00 p.m. Yasin Abu Bakrappeared on television and announced that the government had been overthrown, and that he was negotiating with the Army. He called for calm, and said that there should be no looting.
Trinidad and Tobago Defence Forceand the Police responded by sealing off the area around the Red House. Widespread looting and arson took place in Port of Spainand other parts of the East-West Corridor, but the remainder of the country was calm. A State of Emergency was declared by Acting President Emmanuel Carterand Martial Lawwas imposed. Several members of Cabinet who had not been present in the Red House at the time of the attack set up office in the Trinidad Hilton. On the night of the 27th the Army took control of the TTT transmitter on Cumberland Hill, thus taking TTT off the air. After six days of negotiation, the Muslimin surrendered on August 1, and were taken into custody. They were tried for treason, but the Court of Appeal upheld the amnesty offered to secure their surrender, and they were released. The Privy Councillater invalidated the amnesty, but the Muslimin members were not re-arrested.
About 24 [ [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6716765.stm BBC NEWS | Americas | Profile: Jamaat al Muslimeen ] ] people died during the coup attempt, with millions in property losses. Among the dead was
Member of Parliamentfor Diego MartinCentral, Leo Des Vignes. Many people saw the coup attempt as the last nail in the coffin of the National Alliance for Reconstructiongovernment.
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