T&T confirms 128 nationals involved in terrorist activities overseas

Wednesday, February 01, 2017

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PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Trinidad and Tobago Government Tuesday said more than 100 nationals are involved in terrorist activities "in countries away from Trinidad and Tobago".

National Security Minister Edmund Dillon told the Senate that many of them had left the country after giving false information regarding their true destiny.

"Madam President, based on our information at this point in time, there are almost 130 nationals who have left Trinidad and Tobago to involve in terrorist activities in the countries away from Trinidad and Tobago. Information at hand right now reflects about 70 adults and 58 family members.

"In terms of our intelligence and information gathering, people would live Trinidad and Tobago, sometimes on a destination not mentioned. They may leave for instance Trinidad and Tobago to go to England and they end up in Syria so that their intended destination is sometimes not known to us," he told legislators.

Dillon said that Trinidad and Tobago has to rely on its international partners "to give us the kind of information, the kind of intelligence that will confirm that they are in a terrorist country".

On Monday, Trinidad and Tobago joined its Caribbean Community (Caricom) member state, the Bahamas, in dismissing a report on the American television network MSNBC that the terrorist group ISIS has members in the two Caricom countries.

In a statement, the Office of the Prime Minister noted that Trinidad and Tobago and the United States have a historic, enduring and multifaceted bilateral relationship built around significant cultural, economic and national securities interests and ties.

"In fact, the United States is the home to a number of vibrant Trinidadian and Tobagonian communities reflecting the bond of friendship between our two nations."

Reporting on the decision by United States President Donald Trump to sign an executive order banning citizens from seven countries, namely Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen, an
MSNBC contributor, Malcolm Nance, described as an expert in security and terrorism, indicated that the United States "have not banned terrorists from Brazil.

"ISIS has dozens of members from Brazil or Trinidad and The Bahamas, who have more terrorist members than any of those other countries," he added.

But Port of Spain said that "Nance’s broad and simplistic statement is not supported by fact and ignores the robust and substantial national security cooperative partnership between Trinidad and Tobago and the United States."

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