Mon | Feb 6, 2023

We are already experiencing terrorism, Mr Ellington

Published:Saturday | June 22, 2019 | 12:26 AM


Former Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington has drawn my ire. In a story published on June 13, Mr Ellington said, “local gangsters could make the switch from small arms to weapons of mass destruction (WMD), imitating international terrorists and unleashing horrific acts on the Jamaican public.”

Aren’t criminals already “unleashing horrific acts on the Jamaican public”? What other possible WMD are there if the guns, etc, used to commit crimes aren’t the same? We are not in a war zone like Iraq and other conflict-ridden countries for WMD to even be mentioned.

In 2017, approximately 1,600 people were killed and the most widely used weapon in those deaths was the gun. I don’t see local thugs, as smart or ‘dunce’ as they are, using profits to buy rocket launchers or other WMD to ‘run een pon a cawna’, when a gun is effective.


True terrorism has a specific motive to it, following political, social or religious ideals. Jamaican criminals operate under no such code, except as Mr Ellington said “...(they) do it for the money”, revenge or ‘s’maddy fi dead’.

Why does Mr Ellington feel that Jamaicans are not already experiencing terrorism? One doesn’t need weapons of mass destruction to see the effective effect of small arms. A few months ago, the west was literally under siege. Clarendonians are fleeing for their lives. Kingston, St. Andrew and St Catherine, especially Spanish Town, are literally ticking time bombs.

Categorising weapons devalues the threat already being experienced by the average Jamaican. So, when Mr Ellington made reference to terrorism, all he should’ve said is that the nature of crime has elevated. If it takes a special weapon to be a WMD, I’m waiting to see what knives, dynamite, Molotov cocktails, forced silence and guns are defined as, in Jamaica’s context.


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UWI, Mona