Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : November 25th 2015 Contents Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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Wednesday, November 25, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
for 24TH NOVEMBER, 2015
The State is moving to deem a Trinida-
dian convicted in the United States a ter-
rorist and obtain a freezing order of his
assets and any transaction done on his
The unprecedented action against con-
victed JFK bomb plotter Kareem Ibrahim,
which is being pursued under the Anti-Ter-
rorism Act, follows the collaborative efforts
of local and foreign law enforcement and
The exparte application was filed yesterday
by the Office of the Attorney General and
listed attorneys Pamela Elder, SC, and
Michael Rooplal as the advocates.
No date has been set for the hearing.
The application comes on the heels of
numerous reports of Trinidadians' involve-
ment with the Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria (ISIS) and a fresh wave of calls for
action to be taken against the foreign terrorist
fighters in the wake of the recent ISIS attack
News of the move had been announced
hours earlier by Attorney General Faris Al-
Rawi during a media conference following
the opening session of the Caribbean Action
Financial Task Force (CFATF) plenary meet-
ing at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain,
where a prayer was said in French and a
minute's silence was observed for the victims
of the Paris attacks.
Al-Rawi declined then to name the person
or entity but cited Sec 22 (B), 1 (B) of the
Anti Terrorism Act as the piece of legislation
which enabled him to act on the applica-
Confirming that the application related
specifically to terrorism, Al-Rawi said: "As
incoming AG I met an application which
was languishing and in respect of which
there had been a conviction.
"I saw it as an important deliverable to
proceed with that application to court and
so I took the exercise of gelling the appli-
cation into its proper form, ensured the evi-
dence was behind the application and in
very short measure made the approach to
A tough-talking Al-Rawi added: "Matters
cannot afford to be in the system for long.
You must deal with them conclusively and
if you can't deal with them, you have to say
Warning that there would be international
and local repercussions, Al-Rawi also
declined to comment on the value of the
assets involved, saying it would be premature
to do so "until we have dealt with the posi-
Referring to pre-trial publicity and due
process, the AG said every aspect of the
law had to be carefully factored in for that
He said his ministry, along with the Min-
istry of National Security, was urgently
addressing issues, such as terrorist financing
and foreign terrorist fighters, and they would
soon make a public statement on the leg-
islative changes that were being considered.
On the issue of the designation of foreign
terrorist fighters and how the authorities
can treat with it nationally, the AG said it
was an international law issue and that talks
were being held on whether one was allowed
to bar the entry of alleged foreign terrorist
Claiming such a move would lead to the
creation of statelessness, Al-Rawi said it
was important to have the proper evidence
of foreign travel, such as dates of entry, par-
ticipation and departure from the host coun-
try.He said if it was not specific, there may
be circumstantial evidence one could use
to one's advantage.
"If you bar people from entering your
country, as is being proposed by some juris-
dictions, you have to make sure those enti-
ties that have been bounced from your bor-
ders go somewhere and are treated
somewhere. Who treats with statelessness?"
Al-Rawi acknowledged that the rights
enshrined in the T&T Constitution, as well
as the Treaty of Caricom and the Interna-
tional Court of Human Rights, provided an
avenue for those people to seek redress
both locally and internationally.
"Our jails are made to be used after due
process has been carried out, so we don't
necessarily share the view that one ought
to bounce somebody at the airport. What
you really want to do is treat with the crim-
inality in your due process and in your jail
system," he said.
On moves by Government to shore up
T&T's borders, Al-Rawi said they had
already met with several intelligence agen-
cies, including the Defence Force, T&T
Police Service, Strategic Security Agency
and the Caricom Implementation Agency
for Crime and Security, and that they had
accepted several naval vessels procured
under questionable circumstances by the
former People's Partnership government.
"As a country, we cannot afford to turn
our backs upon the immediacy of accepting
things to shore up the holes in our borders.
That's why we have expressed that we will
not be throwing away the benefits of a lot
of the institutions that we inherited.
"We may clean them up, we may put
them into better operations but we certainly
intend to carry forward the business of
T&T using what the people had purchased
beforehand," he added.
More woes for jailed Trini JFK plotter...
AG moves to seize assets
Incoming chairman of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) Attorney General
Faris Al-Rawi, left, presents a token of appreciation to outgoing chairman Luis Antonio
Martinez during the CFATF's 42nd plenary meeting at the Hyatt Regency, Port-of-Spain,
yesterday. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
Former attorney general Garvin Nicholas
yesterday denied Al-Rawi's claims that Anti
Terrorist Act applications were languishing at the
Ministry of the Attorney General.
During a brief interview, Nicholas said he could
not recall any individual or entity being convicted
of being a terrorist before the local courts.
However, he added: "The reality is that there
were people convicted of being a terrorist in
courts external to Trinidad and Tobago."
Informed of Al-Rawi's action on an application,
Nicholas said: "I had instructed the Central
Authority to pursue these matters and they were
in the process of sourcing the necessary evidence
from international agencies.
"There was nothing languishing, that process
was initiated by me and we were awaiting the
required documentation to proceed."
NICHOLAS: ACT WAS IN WORKS
Ibrahim was convicted on May 26, 2011 of
conspiracy to launch a terrorist attack at the
John F Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York, in
He and Guyanese nationals --- Russell
Defreitas and Abdul Kadir --- were accused of
plotting to explode fuel tanks and the fuel
pipeline under the airport.
The evidence at trial established that Ibrahim,
an imam and leader of the Shiite Muslim
community in T&T, provided religious instruction
and operational support to a group plotting to
commit a terrorist attack at JFK Airport.
Ibrahim and his co-conspirators believed their
attack would cause extensive damage to the
airport and to the New York economy as well as
the loss of numerous lives.
According to the trial evidence, the
conspirators also attempted to enlist support
for the plot from prominent international
terrorist groups and leaders, including Adnan El
Shukrijumah, an al Qaeda leader and explosives
expert, and Yasin Abu Bakr, leader of the
Trinidadian militant group Jamaat al Muslimeen.
Ibrahim was found guilty after a four-week
trial. The specific charges Ibrahim was convicted
of are: Conspiracy to attack a public
transportation system; conspiracy to destroy a
building by fire or explosive; conspiracy to attack
aircraft and aircraft materials; conspiracy to
destroy international airport facilities; and
conspiracy to attack a mass transportation
FOUND GUILTY IN US
Section 22 (B) of the Anti Terrorism Act
states: "The Attorney General shall apply to a
judge for an order under sub-section (3) (a)
in respect of an entity, where the entity is a
designated entity; or (b) in respect of an
entity or individual where there are
reasonable grounds to believe that the entity
or individual (i) has knowingly committed or
participated in the commission of a terrorist
act; or (ii) is knowingly acting on behalf of, at
the direction of, or in association with an
entity referred to in paragraph (a)."
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