BVI authorities have been put on alert following an incident in the neighbouring United States Virgin Islands (USVI) in which US and USVI flags mounted at the Cyril E King Airport in St Thomas were replaced with black flags bearing the name ‘Allāh’.
USVI media reports say the incident has been reported to Federal Bureau of Investigations and the St Thomas-based airport is now under heightened security.
According to the neighbouring territory’s Port Authority, an alarm was raised after USVI law enforcers arrived at the airport Friday morning and noticed some 11 flags at the facility were replaced with the black flags.
The suspicious flags have since been removed and the airport is continuing its operations. Investigations are ongoing.
BVI governor urges vigilance locally
The incident may have raised security concerns in the British Virgin Islands but Governor Augustus Jaspert said at this point, “there is no indication of any threat to the BVI from this incident”.
“However, our police and security agencies in the BVI have taken precautionary measures on receipt of these reports. Residents and visitors are advised to continue to remain vigilant to any unusual or suspicious activity,” Governor Jaspert said.
He said BVI authorities remain ‘in touch’ with the US authorities in relation to the matter.
Muslim extremists are said to be worshipers of Allah, which means ‘God’ in Abrahamic religions such as Islam. Notably, Islam is not a religion for extremism, though it is practised by some in the radical Muslim community.
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