Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 29th 2017 Contents UN representative Richard
Bluwitt warned that terrorists
are seeking new vulnerable tar-
gets, especially in tourism sec-
tors. Calling for swift regional
collaboration and commitment
to regional strategies "...by
this summer", Bluwitt urged
islands to be more attentive
to youths---terrorist recruit-
ers' targets---and legislate for
St Lucia's national security min-
ister, Hermangild Francis, in April
voiced concerns about terrorism's
possible effect on tourism.
Francis Forbes, executive direc-
tor of Caricom's Crime and Securi-
ty Agency, said: "If we have an in-
cident with just one of our tourist
ships, you could imagine the sort of
catastrophic reaction that's going
to happen to our main export."
Several issues emerged at the re-
cent Counter-Terrorism Strategy
conference in Port-of-Spain:
• Online recruitment. Forbes
spoke about online recruitment
tools. "Isis' skilled use of social
media and on-line propaganda,
like their Dabiq on-line magazine,
helps recruit fighters/supporters
and incite anti-Western senti-
ment." He cited Dabiq's August
2016 issue featuring the Caricom
FTF---reportedly T&T's Shane
Crawford---claiming to be an Isis
sniper and detailing his conver-
sion from Christianity to Islam.
"The writer called for attacks
, stating if
Thursday, June 29, 2017 guardian.co.tt
Delegates work at the Counter-Terrorism
Strategy conference in Port-of-Spain held
on June 12-13.
After Government in March con-
firmed 130 nationals had become
involved in terrorist activities over-
seas, T&T was flooded by foreign
American, UK, Swedish, German,
Canadian, British and French media
spotlighted T&T's flow from "Car-
ibbean to Caliphate", as a documen-
tary by Saudi Arabia's Al Jazeera put
it. Government says Al Jazeera's in-
terpretation, and several others, are
In April 2016, UNC MP Roodal
Moonilal claimed 400 nationals had
been radicalised and trained by Isis,
and "men, woman and children" had
left to join Isis.
An intelligence report spanning 2013-
2015 showed 105 people---men, women
and approximately 40 children, aged
three to 16---heading out.
Largest numbers hailed from Rio Cla-
ro and southern areas, and also included
people from Central Trinidad and from
the East---West corridor.
About ten of those listed---including
Shane Crawford, Milton Algernon, and
Ashmead Choate---are reportedly dead.
In April, Turkey deported 12 detained
since 2016 on suspicion of heading to
Syria to join Isis.
In April 2015, regional media report-
ed a 15-year-old boy was held in Suri-
name on suspicion he was heading to
the Netherlands to reach Turkey and
In 2016, Canadian authorities ar-
rested a man of Guyanese background,
allegedly preparing to leave Canada to
engage in terrorism.
Guyanese security sources said
Islamic officials are warning young
Muslims to resist temptation towards
radicalisation. So far, they said, there's
no evidence of Guyanese enlisting as
FTFs. However, they said there's been
more visible presence of radicalisation
amongst young Islamic followers.
A counter-terrorism strategy was
presented to T&T's National Security
Council in early June. T&T's courts de-
clared Kareem Ibrahim (who died in US
prison) a terrorist, freezing his assets.
Similar action is underway for Crawford
and Algernon. (GA)
we are not alone
How could terrorism affect the Caribbean?
he and his friends had the resources,
he'd conduct attacks against his home
country," Forbes said.
• Potential violence returned of
terrorist fighters. "Returning fighters
would have battlefield experience, be
more radicalised, and have developed
networks with other Islamic extrem-
ists globally. They could spread their
radicalised version of Islam to others,
encouraging them to participate in vi-
olent Jihad, either abroad or at home,"
• “Lone wolf”threats. "Plus there's
concern about 'lone wolf' susceptible
individuals, unable to travel to Syria,
Iraq, Libya or another Isis branch,
who could potentially conduct attacks
against our shared interests in the re-
gion. Brazil's recent arrest of individuals
supportive of Isis shows how real this
threat could be," said Forbes.
• Potential divisiveness of re-
turned terrorist fighters. Returning
fighters could promote a rift between
Sunni and Shi'a Muslim communities
that have been living and working to-
gether peacefully for decades in the
Caribbean, said Forbes.
• Blurred lines between extrem-
ism and gang culture. Caricom states
have noted that Isis attracts younger
recruits more likely to have criminal/
violent pasts. Forbes said: "Criminality
and gang culture have replaced extreme
interpretations of religion as the bind-
ing group identity that characterised
earlier waves of violent jihadist recruits.
The criminal element among this new
wave means they're likely to be already
known to law enforcement."
• Prison "incubators." Forbes said
prisons, often considered breeding
grounds for radicalisation, "are possi-
bly more prominent as incubators for
networks of violent jihadists."
"The difficulty is to identify the
blurred line between criminal be-
haviour and extremist activity," said
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