9-Year-Old Boy Dies After Being Shot in Head in Croixville Housing Community; Police Detain 15-Year-Old

Concerned Residents Clean Christiansted Town Using Their Own Tools, Money, and Some Help from the VI Fire Service

Territory May See Veterans Cemetery Through DeGazon-Sponsored Bill

Credit and Debit Cards of WAPA Customers Were Compromised Since August 30th, WAPA Says, Authority to Finally Start Issuing Notification Via Mail and Email

Sports Tourism in VI Gains Momentum as DC United Team is set to Play Exhibition Soccer Game on St. Croix

Carnival Breeze Brings 3,700 Tourists to St. Croix During Maiden Call; Senators, Tourism Officials Want to See More

Limetree Bay Willing To Provide $10 Million To Help Add Life to a Dying G.E.R.S.

American Airlines to Serve St. Croix With New Flights Next Summer

The Sudden Death of Influential Roots Reggae Visionary, Vaughn Benjamin of Midnite Band and Akae Beka, Has Rocked the Virgin Islands and Reggae Community Around the World

Arthur A. Richards K-8 School Hosts Anti-Bullying Campaign

Come Out. Hang Out. Have Fun at The Meat Up, One of St. Thomas’ Latest Hot-Spot for Good Food with Friends and Family.

UVI Board of Trustees Approves $47.1 Million Fiscal Year 2020 Budget; Sets $3 Million Fundraising Goal

Man Dies During Early Morning Car Accident on St. Croix; Driver of Car Arrested (Updated)

'You Did Everything You Could to Prevent this from Happening': An Emotional Goodbye to Young Aaron Benjamin

Back in Business: Cost U Less on St. Thomas Opened its Doors Friday to Thousands of Customers 2 Years after Irma and Maria

Bill Aimed at Regulating Credit Use by Gov't Departments and Agencies Among Others Held in Committee

Juan Luis Hospital Announces Completion and Availability of Mobile Dialysis Facilities

Tractor Trailer With Tank Carrying Thousands Of Gallons of Liquified Gas Flips Near Cool Out Bar; Driver Injured But Alive

Credit and Debit Card Hack Through WAPA Appears to be Widespread in Virgin Islands; WAPA Says Support Services Will be Made Available to Affected Customers

Facing Life in Prison Without Parole, Mother and Boyfriend Plead Not Guilty in Murder of 4-Year-Old Boy

From Jamaica To Trinidad, Caribbean Nationals Joining ISIS

Breaking News / Caribbean / Featured / News / Special Report / Top Stories / Virgin Islands / November 24, 2015

ST. CROIX — Caribbean nationals from multiple islands have left their native lands to join the terror group called the Islamic State, according to Marine Gen. John Kelly, the top U.S. general in South America. While Mr. Kelly spoke in March of this year, the barbaric attacks on Paris, France on November 13, which was preceded by the downing of a Russian jet leaving Egypt for Russia, and a blast that killed dozens in Beirut, the group’s recruiting efforts in the Caribbean have been under more scrutiny.

Mr. Kelly, who heads the U.S. Southern Command, said the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has been doing a “fair amount” of recruiting in the Caribbean region, revealing that some have become radicalized through radical mosques and others through the Internet.

He listed Trinidad, Suriname, Jamaica and Venezuela as countries where officials believe recruits have departed for Syria. And while the U.S. continues to work on disrupting ISIS’s methods of recruitment, the amount of movement across the Syrian border and the sophistication of the networks overwhelm “our ability to stop everything,” Kelly told reporters during a Pentagon briefing earlier this year.

“Everyone is concerned, of course, if they come home,” said Mr. Kelly, adding that while in Syria the recruits would “get good at killing and pick up some real job skills in terms of explosives and beheadings and things like that.”

The U.S. Virgin Islands has a wide demographic of Middle-Eastern people; the majority of them Arabs. They contribute greatly to the islands’ economy in multiple ways by starting and successfully operating businesses in various sectors, the most prominent being gas, furniture and grocery. And while most of the older generation Arabs are Middle-Eastern, their children are U.S. citizens and have adopted the American way of life. And Arabs that The Consortium has spoken to here have decried the terror group’s actions as far from the Muslim religion; even though ISIS uses the Quran to recruit fighters.

Yet, even as chances for an ISIS attack in the territory remains unlikely, other Caribbean nations do not share the same confidence; being fully aware of their weaknesses and lacking the defense mechanisms deeply embedded in the American way of life — including the U.S. Virgin Islands — that were implemented after the 9/11 attacks.

Mr. Kelly said trepidation exists in Caribbean nations that are concerned about the extremists returning home to conduct terror operations, because they don’t have any real ability to deal with the problem.

And ISIS is continuing its propaganda at an alarming rate to recruit Caribbean fighters, with the most recent being video footage that shows a man sitting beside his three children, issuing a call for Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago to rise up.

In the video, a man, identified as Abu Zayd al-Muhajir, claimed he had fled his homeland because Muslims in Trinidad and Tobago were restricted in what they could do. He said people were free to wear the hijab or other Islamic clothing but that in reality, Muslims were only allowed to practice what they were told.

Another fighter named Abu Khalid, who was interviewed in the 11 minute film, said he had converted to Islam because of “the way the Muslims care about themselves, how they care about themselves, their family structure”. He said he felt that he did not belong in Trinidad and that after reading sections of the Koran, he “started to understand that fighting is something that has been prescribed upon Muslims”.

Reports of Trinidadians traveling to Syria to fight for ISIS first emerged in 2014 when the island republic’s former national security minister, Gary Griffith, claimed around 30 citizens were now terrorist fighters.

The United Nations has also warned that the country is being used as a recruiting ground for the terror group.

Mr. Kelly said the CIA, FBI and law enforcement all do a good job tracking the networks, but “there’s a lot of people coming and going. It only takes one to cause a problem.”


Feature Image: From left to upper  right: Trinidadian Abu Khalid, who converted from Christianity to Islam. And millitants filmed in the video at a shooting range.

Image Credit: Trinidad Express.

Sources: CBS News and Express UK.



Ernice Gilbert
I wear many hats, I suppose, but the one which fits me best would be journalism, second to that would be radio personality, thirdly singer/songwriter and down the line. I've been the Editor-In-Chief at my videogames website, Gamesthirst, for over 5 years, writing over 7,000 articles and more than 2 million words. I'm also very passionate about where I live, the United States Virgin Islands, and I'm intent on making it a better place by being resourceful and keeping our leaders honest. VI Consortium was birthed out of said desire, hopefully my efforts bear fruit. Reach me at [email protected]

Previous Post

Local Businesses Sponsor 3rd Annual Turkey Run for St. Croix’s Underserved Populations

Next Post

Public Works Seeking Public Opinion Before Starting Work On Clifton Hill Road

Leave a Reply

More Story

Local Businesses Sponsor 3rd Annual Turkey Run for St. Croix’s Underserved Populations

ST. CROIX – For the third year in a row, management and staff of O’Neale’s Transport partnered with Cost-U-Less on St. Croix...

November 23, 2015