Guyana raises security after US warning

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — International flights departed from Guyana under heavier- than-normal security on Monday after an unusual threat warning from the United States.

Police and soldiers joined regular airport security at the main international airport in the South American country to conduct security screenings of all travelers, said Transport Minister Robeson Benn.

‘‘We have really heightened the level of security in the face of the threat,’’ Benn said.


Three Caribbean Airlines flights departed for New York on Monday without incident.

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The US Embassy said on its website Sunday it had received ‘‘unconfirmed threat information’’ relating to Caribbean Airlines flights bound for the United States. It advised US citizens to make alternate travel arrangements through Wednesday.

Earlier, a spokesman for Caribbean Airlines, based in Trinidad and Tobago, said the company had been aware of the reported threat since Friday and had increased security while maintaining normal operations.

Guyana is hosting a meeting of the Heads of Islamic Cultural Centers and Associations in Latin America and the Caribbean. Benn said he did not know if there was a connection to the warning.

The embassy declined to comment.


Cheddi Jagan International Airport issued a statement saying that after being informed of the possible threat, it and the government’s Public Works Ministry called a meeting involving security agencies and others to assess the situation.

Authorities ‘‘adopted the highest security posture to protect passengers, crew, aircraft, and airport employees and to ensure the continued smooth and safe operations at the airport,’’ the statement said.

In 2007, a former member of Guyana’s Parliament and a naturalized US citizen from Guyana were among four people convicted of participating in a failed plot by a small group of militant Muslims to firebomb John F. Kennedy Airport in New York.

Associated Press