ST. CROIX — Governor Kenneth Mapp will address the public relative to the “Black Flag” incident at a press briefing to be held at Government House here at 1:00 p.m. today, Government House made known via release late Friday night.
The Consortium has learned that a suspect, an Arabic male, was nabbed late Friday, but the V.I.P.D. has not released information relative to the arrest, and V.I.P.D. Public Information Officer Glen Dratte, who said an arrest was indeed made, added that the media and public should expect more information at Mr. Mapp’s press event.
The announcement of the briefing comes a full day following the discovery of black flags bearing the name “Allah” that replaced the U.S., U.S. Virgin Islands and 9 other flags hanging high on a welcome monument at the Cyril K. King Airport’s entrance. The suspect’s motive for removing the original flags and replacing with the black ones is not yet known.
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In a release issued at 10:28 Friday morning, the Virgin Islands Port Authority said it had launched an investigation into the removal of the flags. The authority said its law enforcement officers reported that upon arrival to the airport early this morning, they noticed that all the flags were removed from the 11 poles at the monument and replaced with black flags. The flags have since been removed.
The Port Authority said it has reported the incident to the F.B.I., the Transportation Security Administration (T.S.A.) and the Virgin Islands Police Department.
“The matter is still under investigation. Security at the airport has been heightened. The Cyril E. King Airport will remain open and functioning as normal, and all flights will arrive and depart as scheduled,” the Port Authority release said.
Although rumors were circulating that at least one of the flags included the terrorist group ISIS’s name, Monifa Brathwaite, V.I.P.A. public information officer, said, “None of the flags have ISIS on it. They were all identical flags as shown in the photos.”