September 22, 2020

Trinidad and Tobago security minister confirms nationals fighting for ISIS


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isis-740From Caribbean360

PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad, October 15, 2014, CMC – The Trinidad and Tobago government has confirmed that “several nationals’ are fighting alongside supporters of the Islamic State in Iraq and () and is considering ways of dealing with those nationals.

Over the past week, there have been increasing media reports, including video clips of nationals, fighting on behalf of ISIS that has been deemed a terrorist organization.

National Security Minister Gary Griffith, speaking on a radio programme here, said there were ‘several nationals now linked to the group” and that the label terrorist has been changing and the government has to treat with that.

Two nationals have already been identified as fighters with ISIS, with the mother of one of the men, confirming that her son was indeed fighting on behalf of the group.

Joan Crawfpord told the newspaper over the last weekend that her son, Shane, 29, had gone to Syria to fight on behalf of ISIS , prompted by the inadequacy of what his had become in Trinidad and the need to find a greater purpose.

“He is fighting, he does not believe in raping women and killing children. It is those crimes which were being committed in Syria which prompted him to go and fight. He life is better. He has purpose. He has his family and he is not coming back here,” she said.

Griffith during his radio interview suggested that there are more Trinidadian nationals supporting terrorist groups.

“It is no longer the case where 20 years ago what we saw as a terrorist…was just someone with explosives around his waist and you pull a pin. The concept of terrorism has now moved to different elements, it is just not the actual terrorist, but it also involves persons who may become sleeper cells…then there will be others who will be sympathizers to terrorist activity, then there will be others who will be training persons to be involved in terrorist activity”.

Griffith said that steps are being taken to monitor these nationals, particularly those who may want to return to Trinidad and Tobago.

“There are certain countries now they have pinpointed individuals who are citizens of their own country and they have gone to Syria, they have been trained…and they are trying to get back into their country and they are prevented from getting back in their own country.

“If I decide to do that then God help me. But again I am not saying that is what we intend to do in Trinidad and Tobago. We have to be very clear between intelligence and evidence,” he told radio listeners.

Trinidad and Tobago last month co-sponsored a United States resolution at the United Nations outlawing terrorism and Griffith said that Port of Spain, which was one of two Caribbean countries to sign on to the US resolution, was right in doing so.

“Co-sponsoring that UN resolution what it has allowed is that it will ensure that the real time intelligence from other countries can now be brought into your own country as quickly as possible,” he said, adding “even the information of the individuals that we speak about, it is because of that resolution”.


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