PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC) – The mother of a young man who left Trinidad and Tobago to fight alongside the terrorist group, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said Monday she only became aware of his involvement with the group when his name was published on the Internet by the Islamic group.
The woman, who preferred to be known only as “Mrs Johnson”, said her son Abu Khalid was killed fighting in Syria and that she had no idea when he left the country to join the terrorist group. She said he had been recruited through the Internet.
“My son was in Trinidad here and I did not know (he left) until he died and I got his name… on the computer and when I go through it I was shock.
“As a mother, I said what nah, all this my son involve in,” she said on the “Take Two Programme” on I.995fm radio on Monday that discussed the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago nationals in ISIS.
She said her son was going to a school here and “the system fail people because when time come to get a job to do his work, they keep telling him to come back… but when my son left here he did not leave to go ISIS, he left to go to the Philippines and from there he went to there (Syria)”
She told radio listeners “if you go on the Internet… the ISIS study group, his name keep popping up all the time coming”.
She is urging parents to pay close attention to children while they are using the Internet.
“Definitely the Internet lures them… because I never understand why he liked to work at nights because during the day he used to be on the Internet whole day and that’s how after he died and I got his Muslim name,” she said, adding that following the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed more than 130 people, his name keep coming up because he is into the ISIS, into the group.
Prior to his departure for Malta on Sunday, Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley told reporters that he was urging the security forces here to ensure the safety of citizens.
“We hold ourselves out in the hands of the security services,” Rowley said, adding “the simplest advice I can give is to be vigilant and call on our security services whose job it is to secure us, to double their efforts to ensure that we don’t fall prey to those who would set out to harm us”.
Last week, the head of the Islamic Front of Trinidad and Tobago Umar Abdullah said Trinidad and Tobago nationals who have joined the terrorist group should be welcomed back into the country.
Abdullah, who acknowledged that he was once a firebrand Muslim, told television viewers that he has had a close relationship with some of the Trinidadians who had journeyed to Syria to fight alongside the ISIS fighters.
“I know these individuals and I know a lot of them who have went away and who have gone and joined with ISIS and so on. Some of them were part of my group. That was in the ‘earlies’ when I had expressed radical views,” Abdullah said.
Last month, ISIS released an 11-minute-20-second video featuring four fighters from Trinidad and Tobago calling on Muslims here to migrate to Syria to fight.
The video titled “Those who Believe and made the Journey” was distributed on the social network and pro-Islamic state television networks.
National Security Minister retired major General Edmund Dillon told the Senate on Tuesday that the authorities in Trinidad were beefing up immigration controls and deepening surveillance measures in light of the attack in Paris earlier this month that killed more than 129 people.
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