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Tuesday, October 7, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 04TH OCTOBER, 2014
Local Muslim groups will
hold emergency meetings this
week to discuss reports that
T&T Muslims have joined the
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria
(Isis) in their current jihadist
war in Iraq and Syria.
Isis, now also known as the
Islamic State, has been paying
US$1,000 a day to Muslims who
join the terrorist group's fight,
which some locals believe is one
of the lures for Trinis.
Muslims from other countries
have been joining the campaign
and in a video last month high-
lighting the killing of a US citizen
in the fighting, CNN featured a
segment with two Isis fighters
believed to have Trinidadian links.
One of the fighters was iden-
tified as Abu Abdurahman al-
Trinidadi, in an apparent refer-
ence to his Trini heritage.
Isis has already claimed
responsibility for beheading sev-
eral hostages --- American jour-
nalists James Foley and Steven
Sotloff, British national Alan
Henning and Scottish aid worker
In an interview yesterday, pres-
ident of the Trinidad Muslim
League Nasser Mustapha said he
was shocked that locals were
being lured to join Isis.
"They are using our religion
for their misguided aims. Scholars
have written a lot about this but
joining Isis is not the way to par-
adise. These fighters are taking
things out of the proper context
and using it for their misguided
aims," he said.
Mustapha said people were
joining Isis because of ignorance.
He added: "I am very shocked
to know that Trinidadians could
be involved in this.
"It is very unfortunate that we
have reached to this stage. I am
praying for them to return to
sanity, balance and objectivity.
People have lost their direction
by supporting those who are
involved in these barbaric things.
I pray for them to regain their
Mustapha said he would hold
a meeting later this week to dis-
cuss the latest development in
which two videos were posted
on the internet, allegedly showing
fighters with T&T links involved
in the Isis conflict.
Saying the TML is "definitely
not in support of what the Isis
is doing," Mustapha said this
would have a long-term effect
on the reputation of local Mus-
"In our society Muslims enjoy
a fairly good relationship with
people in our communities. So
far people have exhibited a fair
amount of tolerance and under-
standing," Mustapha added.
He said he did not think the
Government should ban locals
from travelling to the Middle East
as a result of that.
"People go for there for legit-
imate reasons, like business or
studies. There should not be a
ban but more careful verification
of people who are travelling," he
Mustapha also expressed sup-
port for Prime Minister Kamla
of the US resolution against ter-
rorism and Isis at the recent
United Nations Security Council
meeting in New York.
President of the Islamic Mis-
sionaries Guild Imtiaz
Mohammed also urged locals to
stay away from terrorist groups
Having visited high-risk cities
on the border of Afghanistan and
Pakistan, Mohammed said most
people in the Middle East wanted
peace, and if Muslims wanted to
go there it should be to bring
peace, not war.
"Prophet Mohammed (Peace
be Unto Him) has forbidden
women and children from going
to the battlefield, so to take your
family to Syria is going against
the words of the Prophet,"
"I would urge all Muslims to
not get involved in this fight. Do
not go to Syria. We don't under-
stand what Isis's intentions are,
so do not join."
Meanwhile, president of the
Anjuman Sunnat ul Jamaat Asso-
ciation, Yacoob Ali, said his exec-
utive would also meet this week-
end to discuss the latest
He said while the situation
was worrisome, he did not want
to comment until the issues were
National Security Minister Gary Griffith has
knocked Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley for
statements Griffith says essentially opposed a
global response to a global terrorist threat.
During a political meeting in Pt Cumana on Sun-
day, Rowley suggested Trinis here and abroad were
in increased danger as a result of T&T's co-spon-
sorship of the United Nations Resolution on Isis.
Saying nothing could be further from the truth,
Griffith, in a press release yesterday, said over 100
governments and their national security advisers
took a similar stance on the global response to the
Against this united global response, Griffith queried
whether if the PNM were in government it would
adopt a stand alone position against global allies.
Saying to pull out of the resolution would result
in T&T being seen by the world as unprepared to
Griffith said: "If you are not actively against ter-
rorism then it may appear as if one supports and
condones it by inaction and ill-advised opposition.
"Among world leaders speaking on this issue,
Barack Obama, President of the United States him-
self, said, 'No God condones this terror. No grievance
justifies these actions. There can be no reasoning,
no negotiation,with this brand of evil.
The only language understood by killers like this
is the language of force. So the United States of
America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle
this network of death.'"
Rowley has said he is not against support of the
resolution but rather the manner in which Prime
Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar publicly announced
her support of it.
He said that, in his view, the PM put the lives
of Trinis locally and abroad at risk, since Isis has
been known to target allies of the countries fighting
against them and particlarly those linked to the
He said terrorist threats had already infiltrated
T&T's shores since 199, when six nationals went
to Libya and returned with a cache of terrorist-
based intelligence and activity.
But by joining the league of nations opposed to
terrorism in all its forms, T&T country had evolved
in global diplomacy and was now a beneficiary to
intelligence on an international scale, strengthening
security and border protection, Griffith said.
"Isolationism is not an option in matters such as
these and I again call on the Leader of the Opposition
to desist from this path of sensationalising serious
issues and to re-focus his energies on more important
nation-developing issues in a more mature and
responsible fashion," Griffith said.
He added: "The Leader of the Opposition's utter-
ances continue to negatively affect our national
security, as the constant reference to the issue, the
heightened sense of sensationalism, attracts the
wrong strains of attention, giving the impression
that our nation can be perceived as a soft target,
with little resolve to respond in a decisive, effective
and swift manner against any terrorist threat."
He said no nation could adequately respond to
terrorism by simply doing nothing and to make
such statements showed a lack of understanding
of matters of national and global security. (GK)
Gary knocks Rowley's
citizen threat claim
Isis not a way
Local Muslims disturbed by Trini links to terrorists say:
A screenshot taken from CNN.com of alleged Trinidadian ISIS
fighter Abu Abdurahman al-Trinidadi. The video was produced by
Isis to coincide with Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations and featured several
foreign Isis fighters urging others to join the fight in Iraq. CNN
subsequently used part of it in a story which highlighted the death
of a second US citizen who was fighting with Isis last month.
Attorney General Anand
Ramlogan said yesterday it was
impossible to verify whether the
Muslims linked to Isis in the
recent video were indeed of
"While the authenticity of the
videos cannot be established, it
cannot be ignored nor
discounted," Ramlogan said.
However, he said, T&T had
already suffered from the attacks
"We have had bombings in
Port-of-Spain, shots being fired at
President Noor Hassanali's car, the
July 1990 insurrection and the
conviction of Trinidadian Kareem
Ibrahim, who was sentenced to
life in prison in 2012 for joining a
failed plot to firebomb John F
Kennedy Airport in 2007."
He said T&T is also not immune
to the effects of terrorism.
"Silence is not an option except
for a weak leader like Dr Keith
Rowley," Ramlogan said.
He challenged Rowley to write
a letter to US President Barack
Obama saying why he did not
support the co-sponsoring of the
US security resolutions against
foreign terrorist fighters.
Rowley, however, has said he
did not challenge T&T's support of
the resolution but rather the open
manner in which PM Kamla
Persad-Bissessar did so at the UN,
saying he believed it would open
T&T nationals at home and
abroad to possible reprisals from
AG: T&T not immune
More on videos
Two videos believed to show
Trinidadian members of ISIS have
been circulating online since last
One video, entitle, "21 plus...
Graphic and Disgusting...Foreign
terrorists in Syria playing with the
head of a Syrian citizen after they
beheaded him," purports to show
Islamic insurgents playing with the
head of a decapitated man in Syria.
It features a man speaking in
what appears to be a Trinidadian
accent giving a ball-by-ball account
of what is transpiring as the video
was being shot.
The second was posted by Isis
media arm Al-Hayat on August 2,
titled "Eid greeting from the land of
This video sought to invite
international Muslims to join the
self-proclaimed caliphate. One Isis
fighter, who identified himself as
Abu Abdurahman al-Trinidadi,
encouraged Muslims to join the
Al-Trinidadi is standing next to
another man also believed to be
Trinidadian and both men are fully
armed while carrying children on
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