By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, WASHINGTON, D.C., Thurs. July 20, 2017: A Caribbean country of 1.3 million people had the highest rate of ISIS recruitment in the Western Hemisphere last year.
That’s according to the latest US State Department’s ‘Country Reports on Terrorism’ regarding the oil rich Caribbean island of Trinidad and Tobago that was released yesterday, Wednesday, July 19, 2017.
According to the US report, more than 70 nationals from Trinidad and Tobago are believed to be fighting with ISIS in Syria.
The US State Department added that while there are “no known indigenous or foreign terrorist groups operating,” in the country, its own government reported in 2015 that more than 100 Trinidadian nationals, including women and minors, had traveled to Syria and Iraq.
A handful have reportedly returned to the twin-island Republic, including foreign terrorist fighters, whom the US said are being monitored while a list of nationals who traveled to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS is being maintained.
Still the US expressed concern “over the limited inter-agency cooperation and coordination, and limited information sharing due to allegations of corruption among different law enforcement units” in Trinidad and Tobago.
They also pointed to the limited biographic and biometric screening capabilities at ports of entry in the Caribbean nation and said the defense and police forces of the islands are limited in human and material resources to meet strategic security challenges.
Still the US said Trinidad and Tobago designated 80 international and local entities as terrorist organizations, including ISIS. Of the 80 listed, only one – Kareem Ibrahim – was local.
Meanwhile, a separate report, from Trinidad and Tobago cited 182 suspicious transactions involving possible terrorist financing in 2016.