‘Ban returning ISIS terrorist nationals’

Gary Griffith
Gary Griffith

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad – Former national security minister Gary Griffith has called on his successor Edmund Dillon to reject moves to allow the return of Trinidad and Tobago nationals, now fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
Griffith spoke after Islamic Front founder Umar Abdullah said he would be lobbying Dillon to allow the return of Trinidad and Tobago-born foreign terrorist fighters (FTFs) and assist their reintegration.
Dillon previously said in the Senate that a discussion was taking place within the government on revisiting or changing the current situation of free, unrestricted / unhindered re-entry of local FTFs who have joined ISIS.
Abdullah added: “We do have concerns that they (FTFs) may return with issues and we may have negative fall-out as a result but we are prepared to work, to change, educate them and put them through a reintegration program.”
However Griffith questioned the view the FTFs should be given a second chance.
“A second chance at what, trying to cause a plague by attempting to lure more naïve young men to become FTFs or actually commit some terrorist act in our country based on training they received in Syria?” he said.
He said Dillon and Abdullah are incorrect if they believe that because someone is a Trinidad and Tobago citizen, they can automatically be authorized to re-enter, regardless if they are linked to terrorist activity.
Griffith noted that the UN Resolution on ISIS, which was signed by Trinidad and Tobago last year, carries various obligations, including denying terrorists the ability to put down roots, build a base and establish safe havens, prevent easy access of travel for FTFs and prevent radicalization for the recruiting of FTFs.