December 9, 2016

JAYVEE: ISIS in the Caribbean. Trinidad has the highest rate of Islamic State recruitment in the Western hemisphere. How did this happen?

In a recent paper in the journal Studies in Conflict and Terrorism, John McCoy and W. Andy Knight posit that between 89-125 Trinidadians—or Trinis, to use the standard T&T idiom—have joined ISIS. Roodal Moonilal, an opposition Member of Parliament in T&T, insists that the total number is considerably higher, claiming that, according to a leaked security document passed on to him, over 400 have left since 2013. Even the figure of 125 would easily place Trinidad, with a population of 1.3 million, including 104,000 Muslims, top of the list of Western countries with the highest rates of foreign-fighter radicalization; it’s by far the largest recruitment hub in the Western Hemisphere, about a four and a half hour flight from the U.S. capital.

How did this happen?

I’m guessing that dismissing the terror group as “jayvee” for a couple of years and then taking our own sweet time on a half-assed effort at rooting them out didn’t help.

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