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CONFIRMED: VIPD Arrested Alla H. Salem In Connection With Flag Switching Incident

CHARLOTTE AMALIE – The Virgin Islands Port Authority (VIPA) reported that an unidentified person removed nine flags from the entrance to Cyril E. King International Airport at about 7:18 a.m. Friday.

Alla H. Salem, 29, allegedly replaced those flags with black flags featuring the word “Allah” and Arabic symbols, the Virgin Islands Police Department (VIPD) said.

After a thorough and coordinated investigation by the VIPD, the suspect was positively identified as Salem.

After police units searched for Salem in Sugar Estate on St. Thomas, he was taken into custody, arrested and charged with conversion of government property, malicious mischief and petit larceny, according to the VIPD.

This arrest was a collaborative effort of the VIPD, VIPA Police, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Sugar Estate community for its assistance in providing information leading to the arrest.

The case is currently under investigation by the Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB).

Persons with information regarding this incident are asked to contact the Bureau at (340) 774-2211, ext. 5579 or 5556. You can also contact 911, Crime Stoppers USVI, the Chief’s office at (340) 715-5548 or the Commissioner’s office at (340) 715-5506.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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