The state has information that over 400 T&T nationals - men, women and children - have gone to Syria and undergone military training and indoctrination with the Islamic State (Isis) and have been radicalised, Opposition MP Roodal Moonilal revealed yesterday.
"Government has information on the most significant security threat facing T&T and our generation - the threat of Isis infiltrating the Caribbean and T&T. What are you doing about it?" Moonilal asked in Parliament.
Speaking during debate on legislation to amend the Strategic Services Agency (SSA) to deepen local intelligence capabilities, Moonilal challenged Government to comment on information coming to hand that Government has received intelligence on the stockpiling of weapons in T&T and threats to the State.
"What are you doing with it - act on it the intelligence," he said.
Moonilal held up a thick sheaf of documents to support his revelations. The Oropouche East MP noted that last Friday in Parliament, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley had acknowledged some T&T nationals had gone to Syria where Isis was active and have returned and are now under surveillance.
He called on Government to say what was being done on policies to handle such returning nationals. He indicated one option was creating criminal offences to charge people involved in financing such travel. He noted that T&T had once banned Stokely Carmichael and CLR James for ideology.
Calling for investigation of the current situation and policies to deal with it, he said people who have gone to Isis and become indoctrinated and radicalised pose a clear and present danger to the state.
The T&T Guardian has also obtained part of a file - 50 pages long - from a top-level police agency, which lists "T&T citizens who have left the country and journeys to Syria which align themselves with the Islamic State terrorist group".
The file features the names, sex, date of birth, last known local address of each person and date of their departure, date of arrival, their status (whether confirmed in Syria) and a photograph of them. Departures range between 2013 and 2015. The list comprises 32 males, 30 females and 40 children.
The adult males in this listing are largely of Afro T&T descent between the ages of 30 to the 50s.
The women–most wearing hijabs –are also largely of Afro T&T descent, bearing Muslim names and ranging age between the 30 to 40 age group. The children, however, range in ages from two years to 16 years. This list comprises boys and girls, some mere tots, and babies.
Some of the adults are described as being affiliated to Rio Claro and Enterprise mosques.
The list starts with Shane Dominic Crawford, aka Abdullah, whose address was listed as Wallerfield. It states his status was "confirmed as being in Syria."
Anthony Hamlet, of Rio Claro, who was confirmed as being in Syria, was listed as having died in battle.
One Clint Crawford, of Cunupia, was listed as being in Egypt, "but went to Syria and underwent jidhadist training."
The list stated Algernon Fareed Mustapha was confirmed in Syria "and died in battle in the second week of July 2015".
Also described as being "killed in battle" is Sean Bartholomew, aka "Shabazz", of Lower Santa Cruz. He left for Syria via Suriname.
Osayaba Abayomi Abdullah Muhammed, of Belmont, was listed as departing for Syria via London with unconfirmed reports of being "killed in battle."
Shawn Parsons, of D'abadie, was listed as reportedly killed also. Ticket information was that he passed through London, Dubai and Manila to reach Syria.
Tariq Abdul Haqq, of Arouca, was listed as departing for Syria via Barbados and was "reportedly killed."
A Cocoyea Village, San Fernando man was listed as being in Egypt, "from where he is expected to travel to Syria via Turkey." An Aranguez man was listed as reportedly being in Syria having initially left for Egypt.
The list included three Central women - a mother and two daughters - described as having returned to T&T after being detained at a refugee camp in Turkey. (That group was featured in media reports recently).
A Chagaunas woman was listed as being deported from Venezuela and being detained since 2014, but who was also confirmed as "being in Syria,"
Among the children, one Cunupia eight-year-old of East Indian descent was believed to be in the UK," having transited through Curacao".
A similar description was given for a 26-year-old from Cunupia and a 10-year-old East Indian girl of Cunupia, a six-year-old boy from the same place plus a couple from Cunupia. Two Rio Claro children, ages five and two, were listed as having departed with a female and male for Frankfurt, Germany, via Tobago and Barbados with the final destination "believed to be Syria via Turkey." The pictures show a chubby, smiling baby and toddler. Several other couples are described as taking that same route also.
Two other boys from Rio Claro were described as having departed to Germany via Barbados with Turkey as the final destination. A couple is also listed with these little boys.
A 12-year-old boy of Santa Cruz is listed as leaving for Syria via Suriname along with a four-year-old girl and two women.
A Geoffrey Street, Diego Martin woman was confirmed in Syria, as was a Longdenville, Chaguanas woman, an eight-year-old boy, 14-year-old youth and a six-year-old and seven-year-old, both of Rio Claro.
A Trincity six-year-old was said to have departed to Syria via London and a man of Maloney Gardens was listed as departing to Syria via Curacao. A woman and two boys from Trincity was also listed as going to Syria via London.
A Rio Claro couple and three-year-old boy went to Syria via Guyana and a 13-year-old Longdenville boy is confirmed as being in Syria.
A six-year-old boy was also confirmed as having arrived in Turkey while a Cunupia couple were also confirmed as having arrived there along with two eight and seven-year-old boys.
A Don Miguel Road, San Juan man and two tots were also listed as heading to Syria via Brazil, as well as another couple and seven-year-old boy from the same area, and Rio Claro couples and children. An Ecclesville, Rio Claro family of five was listed crossing the Turkish border to Syria.
Others listed as departed for Syria were men, women and children from Morvant, adults from Mayaro and Richplain Road, Diego Martin and a woman born in Saudi Arabia whose TT address was Mayaro. Also listed were a Trou Macaque man, a Coconut Drive, Morvant man, plus men, women and boys from Pranz Gardens, Claxton Bay. Women and boys in that group departed via Panama and Brazil. A tot and youngster from Petit Valley were also listed with adults.