Caribbean News Round-up

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ISIS pursuing Trini foothold

ISIS-Black-Flag-Brigade[TT Observer] – Criminologist Daurius Figueira is warning that T&T Muslims recruited by ISIS could be used to infiltrate and destabilise western countries, including those in Europe coping with an influx of refugees.

Exactly one week after ISIS released a video featuring four Trinidad-born fighters urging T&T muslims to take up arms to fight in Syria, the terrorist organisation is claiming responsibility for the Paris attacks that killed well over a hundred people, saying that the attacks were in retaliation for France’s bombing in Syria.

Speaking to the Sunday Guardian Figueira said: “There is a purpose to the video. Why produce a recruitment video only for T&T, given the comparatively small size of the Muslim population here. It accounts for only about five per cent of the population?

“The people behind the Al Raqqa recruitment video are now sending a message specifically to Muslims in T&T that there is a T&T contingent of fighters now in ISIS, trained and led by nationals of T&T.

“The Ministry of National Security must investigate that: The formation of a T&T ISIS contingent, the message they want to send and why they want to recruit third world people whose first language is English.”

He said the only other promotional release to date in English had British Islamic State fighters in it.

Figueira said Caricom nationals, Trinidadians and people from the Commonwealth who spoke English and were educated can be used by ISIS to take the fight on the home soil of first-world countries such as Britain and the US.

T&T and eight other Caribbean countries enjoy visa-free travel to Europe.

He said the state agencies of the previous government had failed to penetrate and dismantle these structures and the IS video was in fact taunting the state agencies of T&T on their failure.

He said those fighters presented in the IS video will not return to T&T except if they wanted to escape IS for some reason.

Figueira said the major issue for T&T was recruitment here and the export of potential fighters to IS.

According to former National Security Minister Gary Griffith, about 30 T&T nationals made the trip to Syria to fight for ISIS last year.

The United Nations had also warned that T&T is one of a number of countries with Muslim populations that is being used as a recruiting ground for the terror group.

Cyber hackers linked to the Islamist organisation attacked the government computers of Jamaica and St Vincent and the Grenadines.

Former Executive Director of the National Operations Centre (NOC) Garvin Heerah told the Sunday Guardian that the details that had surfaced in the viral videos were alarming.

He said the video and information obtained through internet surveillance continued to engage the attention of national security.

Heerah there is continuity between the last National Security administration, and the current one led by Minister of National Security Edmund Dillon.

Heerah said the probability that that the jihadist recruits could return to T&T should not be dismissed, and all the arms of security and law enforcement, here and abroad, must work together.

 

ISIS is no threat to T&T

Edmund Dillon
Edmund Dillon

[Trinidad Express] – TERROR group Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is not a threat to Trinidad and Tobago right now, National Security Minister Edmund Dillon has said.

He pointed out that men and women who have travelled to the Middle East to be part of ISIS are free to return home.

“As citizens of Trinidad and Tobago, there is no law in place to stop them from coming home. If they have committed an international crime, we will work with our international partners to bring them to justice but for now, they are still citizens of Trinidad and Tobago,” said Dillon.

 

Outcast no more

Jabari[Jamaica Observer] – WITHIN a few hours of Jabary Williams’s story appearing in the Jamaica Observer on Friday, the disappointment he felt at being ridiculed by people in his community for returning $100,000 he had found to its owner turned to respect and joy.

In addition to Jamaicans here and abroad who called the Observer offering to help the 19-year-old, executives of financial giant Sagicor Group sent a strong message to Williams and his community that honesty is indeed the best policy.

Sagicor Investments President and CEO Rohan Miller told the Sunday Observer that after officials of the financial institution read the story, they decided to reach out to Williams.

Reaching out entailed opening an account for Williams at Sagicor Bank. In addition, the youngster and his family have been presented with a weekend at the group’s Jewel Resorts.

It doesn’t stop there, as the company has also committed to sending Williams, who works at a bakery, on a training course to enhance his baking skills.

“There are a number of unsung heroes in our society, and a lot of times what we encounter is information and stories about all the bad elements, all the things that go wrong,” said Rejeanne Campbell, marketing manager, Sagicor Bank and Sagicor Investments.

“In a time like this when the economy is tough and moral fortitude is not where it needs to be at all times, it is important for us as corporate Jamaica to support those persons, especially young persons, who come forward and show true character in the things that they do. Even if they don’t always meet a reward like this, we want them to know that doing right and doing good is always the best practice,” Campbell added.

She said that what Williams did also sent a message to the country that there was still hope.

 

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