This afternoon I will update this Honourable House, and the nation regarding two recent issues, which this Administration considers to be serious threats to our national security. The first concerns our recent refusal to land a CARICOM national in the interest of public safety and security, and the second, the security sector’s contribution to Jamaica’s preparedness for the threat posed by the Ebola virus. 

The Most Honourable Prime Minister tabled the 2013 National Security Policy (NSP 2013) in this House earlier this year. The NSP 2013 identified terrorism and natural hazards (including infectious diseases) among the Tier 2 threats to national security. Tier 2 covers threats that are currently seen as relatively low probability (i.e. they might not happen) but could be high impact if they did (in terms of fatalities, economic loss, civil unrest or social disruption). The Tier 2 threats therefore require very careful monitoring. It is also essential that we take all necessary steps to ensure that they are prevented or mitigated as far as possible.

The NSP 2013 noted that there are two key points with respect to Tier 2 threats such as terrorism and infectious diseases.  First, these threats have the potential to cause catastrophic harm to Jamaica so it is important to actively monitor all Tier 2 items so that they can be rapidly upgraded to a Tier 1 ‘Clear and Present Danger’ if necessary.

Second, the concept of ‘low probability’ always refers to a particular period of time.  So, for example, the probability of a terrorist attack may increase during certain high profile events relative to other periods. A US-led operation in the Middle East, for example, might increase the risk of a terrorist attack on American tourists in a third country – such as this one.

Similarly a ‘low probability’ designation would have applied to the threat of Ebola even a few months ago. Now, however, as a result of the recent spread of the disease across the world, the risk that it might arrive in Jamaica has increased…READ MORE

Download Minister Bunting’s Statement to Parliament on Threats to National Security  

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