Suriname is presently in very harsh budgetary difficulties simply indicated by the reality that police officers carry out their duties in basketball shoes they supply as the state cannot supply their full uniform kit. But on 11 April 2018 the police of Suriname indicated that police in gym boots can get the job done as they presented 8 heavy criminal files in the hearing of the two Dutch citizens and residents of Suriname charged with being recruiters for Islamic State, facilitating the recruitment and funding of Islamic State recruits to travel from Suriname to Islamic State and most important for planning an Islamic State attack in Suriname. In T&T every year we spend TTD Billions on national insecurity, we have sent more persons to Islamic State than any other country in the western hemisphere and the highest in the world per capita. Yet not a single case has been brought before the courts much less involving 8 thick, heavy bust yuh godi files of evidence. T&T experienced the expectation of an attack on carnival 2018 now those arrested are suing the state for some taxpayers money. We had a whole grap of persons arrested for supposedly plotting to kill the then PM now the bills to the taxpayers ringing up chi ching! It’s a disease that crosses the political divide and it’s only the racist hegemonist believe that their party is decent, respectable, morally superior and competent. Whilst those elected and non-elected politicians play games with public safety the entire structure that recruited, financed and moved all those persons to Islamic State is intact and operational in T&T. Maybe is time we put all politicians, the police and the SSA and those that exist in the shadows in gym boots some Bata gym boots? Cause we desperate and some worn out uniforms with hole in order too.
This week news media pushed the report that Admiral Tidd of SOUTHCOM stated that there were 100 and more IS active assets in T&T. The first question was why Adm. Tidd would reveal in public such operational information in light of the SOUTHCOM article in Dialogo on the Carnival 2018 threat? Naturally, I was awaiting the regular post of such press conferences by Adm. Tidd on the SOUTHCOM website and lo and behold fake news again in the tradition of that “famous” Saturday Guardian article. This is what Adm. Tidd actually said on T&T in the press briefing. Click the link for the transcript and the video.
“Q: OK, General (sic), Hans Nichols with NBC News.
At the top, you talked a lot about extremists and ISIS. Just wondering what sort of evidence you have that either ISIS cells or networks are in your AOR.
ADM. TIDD: I think I would just point to a couple of the foreign fighters that have been very vocal in the past, speaking in English language in the — in the ISIS fight in Syria, that originated in Trinidad and Tobago.
We know they came. We know that the government of Trinidad has spoken of 100 or so that — foreign fighters that have gone to that particular fight. So that’s — I guess that would be the — probably the best indicator that, yes, in fact, there are individuals who have been radicalized, who this pernicious method — message is — has taken root.
And so it’s one that is of concern to the government of Trinidad and Tobago. They’ve — they have focused on it. And so I think it’s a — it’s an area that we all have to take into consideration.”
The Position of US SOUTHCOM on the Carnival 2018 Threat in T&T
US Southern Command in its digital magazine DIALOGO an article titled: “ISIS Terrorist Attack on Carnival in Trinidad and Tobago Foiled” dated February 26, 2018 a carefully constructed discourse was unleashed which gave the Southcom version of this reality using quotations from T&T officials to support their position. Southcom states that the T&T agencies were the actors on the ground in the operation but the US played a vital role without which the success of the entire operation would have been in doubt. This is the Southcom version: the US uncovered a group of persons planning to attack the US Embassy in Port of Spain. The US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) alerted the T&T agencies to the threat to the US Embassy. In December 2017 the US agencies, the TTPS and the T&T military “put a monitoring task in motion”. This monitoring task uncovered the link to ISIS and the intention to attack the Carnival. For weeks at a time various people were kept track of in the districts of El Socorro, Laventille, Enterprise and Bamboo Settlement. Five mosques in El Socorro, Munroe Road, Sangre Grande, Bamboo and Laventille were searched for explosives. The article states: “Carnival ended without incident on February 13th, but the event represented a major surveillance and control operation.”
The Southcom discourse reveals nothing further on the plan to attack the US Embassy. The plan to attack the Embassy which according to Southcom triggered the need for US engagement with T&T for “a major surveillance and control operation” is silenced in the discourse becoming an operation to thwart an IS attack on Carnival 2018. The major lesson of the article is the description “a major surveillance and control operation” simply put the IS cell was not dismantled, its assets are still in place. Does this mean that the threat to the US Embassy remains and is now palpable after the “surveillance and control operation”? If yes, the US agencies must act to dismantle the IS cell in T&T as an attack on the US Embassy is an attack on US interests in T&T. To speak of attacking US interests in T&T and to act to attain the end in conjunction with other persons constitutes conspiracy to commit a terrorist act against the USA under US anti-terrorist law which applies to an attack on US interests in T&T. What is sent via encrypted digital means via social media platforms etc. constitutes conspiracy. The Southcom article states that since December 2017 the surveillance operation was in motion following which was the control action which commenced before Carnival Monday and Tuesday. One must then expect that the US operation is on-going and the move to dismantle can very well encompass a stint at Guantanamo Bay in orange jump suits.
The tsunami of spin dumped and being dumped on the populace of T&T via the media since the T&TPS press briefing before carnival 2018 that announced a threat to carnival is instructive of the state social order is presently in. The official line was not to say “terrorist threat” but as it was subsequently revealed the overwhelming majority of persons detained and subsequently released without charges were Muslim males according to the media reports. An attack to disrupt carnival involves possible action to harm civilians which under our terrorist act is an act of terrorism. But the 15 detained persons we know of according to media reports were not detained under the anti-terrorism act nor charged under the anti-terrorism act! Two were charged for possession of part of a firearm according to media reports. And according to media reports those released without charges had their digital devices seized by the police. On February 17, 2018 the three daily papers had headlines that screamed ISIS cell in T&T in some form or another and the stated source of this was the PM of T&T speaking in the House of Representatives on February 16, 2018. In the Sunday Newsday of 18 February 2018 an article reported that the AG stated that the PM never said that as reported in the media. Political spin by the elected politicians, political spin by the non-elected politicians of the national security apparatus and by the media. The most potent instance of an attempt at creating truth for specific unstated purposes maybe to sell papers I don’t know is the article in the Saturday 17 February 2018 Trinidad Guardian titled “ISIS claims responsibility for carnival threat” where the writer states that the February Dabiq article states that a group of its fighters were arrested on February 8 as they were preparing for a mega attack on carnival. When I read this Guardian article I literally piss myself laughing as the last Dabiq magazine issue from IS was in 2016. Dabiq magazine exists no more dead, nils, nada replaced by Rumiyah in 2016. The said article in Dabiq magazine a shot of which is contained in the Guardian article is in fact an English translation of an article in French that appeared on the Voltaire network out of Lebanon. Click the link below! The lesson of the whole affair is the repeat of the method utilised in 2011 in 2018 and both instances failed miserably. According to the press reports of testimonies of those detained it was simply a fishing expedition that held those in custody until after carnival done thereby alleviating the July 27, 1990 tabancca with grave harm to political careers and to career advancement in the national security apparatus. Better safe than sorry! This instance potently illustrates the reality that as the state of T&T and its politicians refuse to wrap their minds around the reality facing us. When you keep applying the same solution to problems and you expect different outcomes then you are ………..! My grave regret is that I am still here trapped in a madhouse where they all acting normal!
Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Reuters News agency have reported on the manner in which the foreign males, foreign females and their children of the Islamic State who have surrendered to Iraqi forces in Iraq are being handled. The men and boys 12 years old and over are separated from the women and children and there are reports some are executed whilst others detained but there is no trail of evidence to confirm both streams of reports.
An HRW report of July 13, 2017 stated that a special closed camp was established at Bartalla, Iraq to house IS families for “rehabilitation” before reinsertion into society. In this report there was no mention of the women and children of the Islamic State considered foreign in Iraq. At the Bartalla camp the modus operandi was clear as families devoid of men and boys from Mosul and Tal Afar were housed there with those classified as IS families being sent there.
An HRW report dated September 20, 2017 reported on a camp at Hammam al- Alil, Iraq housing over 1,400 foreign women and children of IS who were all subsequently moved on September 17, 2017 to a detention camp at Tal Kayf under the total control of Iraqi military intelligence as there is no presence of a humanitarian organisation at Tal Kayf. The foreign women and children are then at the mercy of Iraqi intelligence as there is no international oversight. HRW on its visit to then Hammam al-Alil camp holding the over 1,400 foreign women and children interviewed on September 10 and 11, 2017 27 women held at the camp. The family groups interviewed contained no men and boys over 12 years old. At the time of the HRW visit the camp was under the management of the Norwegian Refugee Council but on September 12, 2017 the Norwegian Refugee Council stated that it will no longer manage the camp as it’s not a humanitarian facility. The HRW report listed the nationalities of the women at the camp as follows: Afghan, Azerbaijani, Chinese, Chechen, Iranian, Russian, Syrian, Tajik, Trinidadian and Turkish. A Reuters report on the camp also listed: Algerian, French and German nationals. Both the HRW and Reuters report does not provide a listing of the number of women and children as per nationalities listed and HRW only spoke to a sample of 27 women. The report in the Trinidad Guardian of October 12, 2017 “Trinis who fled Isis now in Iraqi detention camps” which reported on the information provided by HRW on the Trinidadian woman interviewed who indicated that she and her sister who is pregnant were in the camp with their children and their mother. Their father was separated from them and carried to parts unknown. This single interview does not and cannot speak to the total number of women, children and men of Trinidad and Tobago of the Islamic State who have surrendered to the Iraqi forces are in detention camps across Iraq or dead. The women interviewed by HRW revealed the number of the sample who didn’t have in their possession the travel document of their country of origin. Then there is the problem of children born in Iraq under the rule of Islamic State seen in the number of three year olds and younger in the camp. What is most indicative is the refusal of the Trinbagonian woman interviewed by HRW to divulge her identity as name, former area of residence in Trinidad, family name in Trinidad and any information on her travel document from T&T. This position worsens the plight of the woman in Iraq as it fails to grapple with the threat posed to those branded with the mark of IS held captive by the Iraqi power structure especially potent being the grave threat posed by those driven by the blood lust generated by revenge and vendetta. The strategy has then to be to give all information necessary to international sources and the Iraqi state and call for repatriation back to T&T. To refuse to do this will result in a steady stream of orphans left at the mercy of the powers that be.
In August 2017 the Russian network RT ran a story on the number of Russian speaking orphans in an orphanage in Baghdad. Subsequently the call went out for members of the family of these orphans to come forward to commence the process of reuniting them with their families. Are there orphans of Trinidad and Tobago origin in need of deliverance and reunification with their families in T&T in Iraq? On September 11, 2017 the RT news agency aired a video report on the foreign women and children held in the said camp in Iraq. The report sought out Russian speaking women only willing to speak on camera with their facial features erased. The women interviewed made the call for them to return home but the reporter also spoke of the intention to place these women on trial in either Iraq or their country of origin. The reporter also spoke of the number of orphans in Iraq who were the children of foreign fighters and their wives.
From what is reported in the HRW and Reuters reports it’s now apparent that Islamic State foreign fighters from T&T were in Iraq and involved in the futile attempt to hold Mosul for IS. Is the same scenario being repeated in Raqqa with a similar outcome of T&T female nationals and their children of IS now in detention? The salient reality now is what is the position of the government of T&T and the Ummah of T&T on these women and children in Iraq? The much vaunted “allies” of T&T in the war on terrorism have indicated their ambivalence at best towards the return of foreign fighters of IS to their country of origin but what of the women and children? Will these women and children become stateless consigned to a netherworld situated in Iraq thereby becoming offloaded on the Iraqi government and open to the acts of revenge and vendetta that have been spawned by the barbaric actions of the Islamic State? Are the women to be tried in Iraq and face punishment in Iraq when found guilty? What then of the children left behind? What will be done about orphans born in the Islamic State to a foreign parent or parents?
One report in the Middle East Eye has indicated that the T&T government has in the past facilitated the return to T&T of women of T&T and their children who embraced then fled from the Islamic State. Also note carefully the estimate given for Islamic State foreign fighters from Trinidad and Tobago which frames the scale of the problem. The aid given to Amina and her sons by the T&T government will this enable the T&T government to locate these women and children in Iraq and Syria, consider their request to return to T&T if they are made, approve or deny and facilitate as they reportedly did before? Or use the escape route of these women and children being stateless?
To the Ummah of T&T especially those who encouraged, aided and abetted the Hijrah what do you intend to do in response to this reality? Remember the Quranic injunction on treatment afforded to orphans and note it’s one instrument of our judgement! For the power of the Islamic State discourse of Hijrah to the Khilafah moved entire families of Muslims in T&T to undertake Hijrah to a failed project from its outset and now it’s the burden of the Ummah of T&T to deal with the blowback such is our destiny and our duty.
The article titled “ACP transferred: refuses to arrest PC on terror offences” in the Sunday Express of September 10, 2017 must first be questioned on its accuracy. If it’s in fact an accurate report on what transpired, then grave questions arise of the capacity and capability of the premier civilian covert agency to, in a non-politicised manner, deal with threats to national security. If it’s not accurate then there is an agenda of destabilisation in play which the national security apparatus has to defuse. The article alludes to holes in the security apparatus charged with monitoring persons of interest which if they exist sends a potent message to the “partners” of T&T in the fight against terrorism especially those of the north Atlantic that all talk and no action makes jack a liability even a grave risk.
The said individual who was supposedly branded an Islamic State foot soldier supposedly left Trinidad with his wife and children for Egypt and returned to Trinidad from Egypt reportedly without the knowledge of the agency monitoring him. The said individual who identifies himself in the article as a member of the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS) then attached to the Parliamentary Unit stated in the article that he was investigated in London and cleared of any terrorist activities. Which supports the article’s statement that he and his family were placed on the terrorist watch list by the T&T security apparatus but he and his family were allowed to fly. The member of the TTPS in the article stated that he and his family are members of the Hebrew Israelite denomination and travelled to Egypt for reasons of faith.
Was this member of the TTPC surveilled to determine his allegiance to Islamic State? How was he and his family to enter territory under the control of IS from Egypt? Most pressing of all is he and his family in fact Hebrew Israelites? Because his designation as a potential IS recruit seeking to undertake Hijrah to Islamic State is simply not adding up as it’s contrary to the methodology of IS. Was he and his family adherents to Salafi Jihadi discourse and methodology whilst in T&T? Who was his Salafi Jihadi Sheik in T&T? Did he and his family personally exhibit and espouse instances of the Salafi Jihadi belief system? What is the history of the family as practising Muslims in T&T is the crucial question for Islamic State is not in the business of converting the kaffirun to Islam before or after they are granted entry to the IS. In light of the shrinkage of the IS and the difficulty in entering territory it holds in Syria in August 2017 why fly your entire family to Egypt? To take this risk illustrates that you are committed to the discourse of IS which means that you must have left a trail of this commitment in T&T. But why fly to Egypt with your wife and children then return to T&T if you are so committed to Islamic State? Or is it that you are in no way linked to Islamic State. It’s that simple.
The person of interest stated in the Express article that he and his family are Hebrew Israelites which in no way gives them credibility to enter Islamic State what it gives them is a free pass to lose their heads as Christian spies. In no way can informed and educated surveillance mistake the belief system of the Hebrew Israelites for that of the Islamic State. If this is an instance of the quality of surveillance, then we have a grave problem. The only other outlandish scenario to visualise is an Islamic State sleeper parading as a Hebrew Israelite. But such sleepers are intent on carrying out attacks and most importantly are chosen by the command of Islamic State and the profile of the person of interest in the article simply doesn’t fit the favoured profile of the IS sleeper attacker. Then if you are an IS sleeper why travel to IS with your family after having failed to execute the order given? You have a death wish to die painfully and graphically at the hands of IS. A person intent on an attack in the name of IS but not under the orders of IS, the lone wolf, will not pack up and travel family included. To assess the threat posed by this person of interest is not rocket science but the daily task requirement for the covert intelligence agencies of the T&T national security apparatus. In the threat horizon of T&T there is can be no space afforded screw ups.
If this is the quality of work in a threat horizon as is that of T&T then we’re in for a rough ride as memories of the road to July 27, 1990 and 9/11 flash back. Both roads paved with political impotence that empowered the assaults launched. This position is the result of only factoring into the analysis the words of the person of interest in the Express article all the rest of the article is simply noise interference. The silence is also noise.
The Oath of Allegiance (bay’ at) to the Khilafah/Islamic State made manifest
The female suicide bomber with an infant in her arm who detonated her explosive vest killing herself and the baby is the most potent visual presentation to-date of what is expected by those who pledged the bay’ at to the Khilafah/Islamic State. The detonation of the explosive device, the death of the woman and more importantly the death of the infant made no impact on the strategic reality of the battlefield much less in favour of Islamic State. But this is not the operating logic of Islamic State for IS demands the death of all those that pledged bay’ at to the Khilafah. The issue is the willingness to die on the orders of the Islamic State and for the Islamic State regardless of the strategic realities of the battlefield. For the Islamic State there is only hijrah to IS there is no hijrah from an IS in tatters and facing ongoing defeat on the battlefield by those Islamic State declared enemies of Islam. When you undertake hijrah to IS the only acceptable manner to leave is as a corpse. The Islamic State is then no different from Jim Jones and David Koresh.
There is a potent lesson in the action of the woman for all those countries faced with the threat of extremist attacks especially those countries where the hijrah to the Islamic State was/is a fact of life. Note carefully! The woman is carrying the infant in her left hand, she has a bag hung on her left side beneath the infant, she is holding in her right hand her handbag and the detonator for the explosive vest. In the midst of the soldiers she has targeted she pressed the detonator but it detonates the vest after she has walked past the main group killing herself and the infant with minimal casualties inflicted on the target group. All the rationalisations of the talking heads of the west will not diminish the lesson of this woman so willing to die for Islamic State that she kills the infant used as an instrument of deception to enable her attack on the target group. A lesson most potent for those who engage with reality!