Trinidad to amend anti-terrorism legislationThursday, February 02, 2017
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) — The Trinidad and Tobago government on Thursday announced plans to amend the existing anti-terrorism legislation making it much more difficult for anyone to participate in terrorist activities at home or abroad.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi, speaking at the weekly Cabinet news conference said that the amendment to the Anti-Terrorist Act will be presented to the Parliament on Friday.
“We are now able to come with a very very comprehensive piece of law which seeks to amend the Anti-Terrorism Act of Trinidad and Tobago,” he said, adding “what we are doing is to specifically attend to the deficiencies observed in the …anti-terrorism marking of Trinidad and Tobago.
“We are allowing for specific provisions to allow us to meet with the United Nations resolutions which we have not been fully compliant on,” he said.
“What we are expanding (is) the definition of property of funds for terrorism and we are specifically going to include oil and other natural resources,” the attorney general added.
Al-Rawi told reporters that terrorism financing is often perceived to be in cash but “in reality there’s a lot of in kind and other resources can be used to fund terrorist organisation.
“So what we did is to broaden the definition….as to the type of property can be used,” he said, adding that the definition of terrorist will now include “persons who contribute to the terrorist act or the financing of terrorism by individual terrorists.
“If you fund it in any form or fashion, whether you are an entity or not …you are going to be captured by this position,” he said, adding that the legislation will also re-define a terrorist act.
He said the authorities are also looking to go beyond just the scope of a terrorist act “to cover offences outside of Trinidad and Tobago.
“That is a very important position because as you know the allegation exists that persons may travel outside of this country, participate in events in other countries and what we want to do is to specifically capture any form of activity that can be linked to that.
“We are also looking to expand the threat to commit or taking preparatory steps,” he said, noting that no one “walks up and says I am a terrorist and I have done this…but it is important for us to capture the fringes around it so that taking any preparatory steps or threatening to deal with it is also included.
“We (are) looking as well to expand the offences for the provision of services for the commission of terrorist acts or financing of terrorism and the collection of property. So if you participate in providing a service…we are asking people if you are sending money to check and double check….then you are going to be caught.
He said the legislation would also make it a criminal offence to join a terrorist organisation “and attending or receiving training”.
Al-Rawi said the legislation would also make it an offence to visit, without informing law enforcement authorities, areas in countries designated as being an area of terrorist activities.
“If you travel to that geographical area you are going to have a presumption in law that you were there for a terrorist activity,” he added.
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