REGIONAL: Media tracks Isis fighters from T&T

(Source: Reporters from the New York Times and Al Jazeera are speaking to members of T&T’s Muslim community following last week’s news that 130 nationals are involved in terrorist activities in countries abroad.

The updated figure was given last Tuesday by National Security Minister Edmund Dillon following MSNBC commentator Malcolm Nance’s claim that the Islamic State terrorist network “has dozens of members from Brazil or Trinidad or the Bahamas, who have more terrorist members than any of the seven countries” that are the subject of an immigration ban ordered by United States President Donald Trump.

Islamic Front leader Umar Abdullah said New York Times reporter Frances Robles, collaborating with Prior Beharry, a former media/communication official with the former People’s Partnership government, interviewed him on Saturday about T&T nationals joining terrorist groups.

Abdullah said he gave his opinion of T&T, including Muslim ideologies and radical teachings and told the reporter he had moved away from radicalism though others had been influenced.

“I said I almost joined Isis and was distributing information up to 2014- 2015 encouraging people to go (Syria), but I didn’t, as I felt Trinidad and Tobago’s situation needed examples for our Muslims. I said we’re a peace loving group and want the best for Trinidad and Tobago.

“I said there aren’t terrorist groups here, no terrorism funding, but there may be individuals influencing that ideology, though it won’t grow and they’d leave for overseas and won’t return to make problems.”

Abdullah said he spoke about those who had gone to Syria, including Shane Crawford, who was among the first.

“I said most people held for the alleged plot against the former PP prime minister left for Syria and while that may give the impression of nefarious activities, I have the information that (the plot) was concocted.”

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