PRAYER ALERT on Caribbean ISIS fighters. As tourist season begins in the Caribbean, officials are bracing for the return of ISIS militants from the Middle East to the Caribbean. ISIS has lost 90 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria. But IS fighters are returning to their homelands. They have trained to launch home terror attacks. Hundreds of ISIS militants hail from the Caribbean. Through social networks many of them have already spread propaganda to their home countries.
Will they target western tourists? “It is not a matter of yes, but when.” So says the national security minister for Trinidad and Tobago, Maj. Gen. Edmund Dillon. At least 130 Trinidadians have traveled to Syria to fight with IS. “Per capita, Trinidad has the greatest number of foreign fighters from the Western Hemisphere”, says former US ambassador to Trinidad John Estrada. “Trinidadians do very well with ISIL.”
Moreover, they have risen high in IS ranks. The many extremists among the six percent of Trinidadians who are Muslims will welcome them. Also, the influence of radical clerics and radicalized IS sympathizers in other CARICOM (Caribbean Community) nations is growing. Like other citizens in the Caribbean, jihadis may travel freely between most of the island nations. Even one act of terrorism in the region could spark much more radicalization. Terrorist groups could grow overwhelm these small nations which have small, less-experienced militaries. They could also exploit the banking system to finance terrorism networks.
Recently CARICOM nations have been working with the US. Together they will track returning Caribbean ISIS fighters. They are preparing CARICOM arrest warrants for them. They have plans to share recovered assets that terrorists seize. Other measures include specialized joint military preparations to combat terrorism and transnational organized crime.
For instance, the Belize Defense Force, Coast Guard and Police just spent one month learning how to operate as one unit. They called their anti-terrorism exercise “Tropical Dagger”. Armed forces from the US, Canada and Jamaica participated with them. Observers from five other Caribbean nations were on hand. But how quickly can they mobilize mutual support over such long distances?
The lack of travel restrictions also makes the Caribbean vulnerable to terrorists. So it is in Europe…
DailyInsight. For thousands of years God gave us His voice, His messengers, His words. But in the manger God gave us Himself. Max Lucado (see Heb. 1:1-3).
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‘It’s a case of when, not if’: ISIS militants fleeing the Middle East will return home to the Caribbean and target western tourists, security minister warns.
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