NATIONAL SECURITY Minister Stuart Young pushed back against critics on Saturday, saying he is always careful about what he says regarding matters of national security.
At last Thursday's post-cabinet media briefing, Young said some wanted to create "a sense of fear and panic" in TT with what they describe as the runaway rate of crime.
He maintained there was a plot to destabilise the country through sporadic acts of violence.
"Who is it in our society that stands to gain of pushing this narrative of a homicide rate going upwards? Why are there instances all of a sudden of certain sporadic shootings of persons who are not involved in gang or criminal activity?"
One day after the comment, Opposition Senator and public relations officer for the UNC Anita Haynes denied that her party paid criminals to commit crime.
At a press conference, at the office of the Opposition Leader in Port of Spain, on Friday, she said Young used a "dangerous rhetoric" to deflect from his failure in dealing with crime. She added Young offered no evidence in support of his claim.
Former attorney general Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj called on Young to provide evidence to back up his claim that recent "random shootings" were being done to destabilise the society. Maharaj made the comments at a separate media conference on Friday.
In a media release on Saturday, Young said: "I am always very careful about what I say, especially with respect to matters of national security. I was particularly careful in all that I said at the post-cabinet media conference on Thursday gone. In my position, one must balance the right to inform and give context without losing the intelligence advantage of our security services."
He said the information shared, "without calling a single name," was provided by the authorities in the national security agencies. He said he had observed,"who jumped out defensively and also who have remained silent."
Young said crime affected all and he has been working with all of the arms of national security in the fight against the criminal elements.