Muslim body: 40 locals from Isis need to come home

Gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers have start­ed vis­it­ing Mus­lim fam­i­lies who are seek­ing to bring home rel­a­tives—main­ly women and chil­dren—de­tained at the al-Hol refugee camp in Syr­ia.

This was con­firmed by Con­cerned Mus­lims of T&T mem­bers who re­cent­ly wrote For­eign Af­fairs and Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty of­fi­cials seek­ing help to bring the peo­ple home.

This, af­ter lo­cal fam­i­lies, asked CMTT to help to get the peo­ple home.

They’re said to be rel­a­tives of peo­ple who went Is­lam­ic State war zones over the years.

The ini­tial fig­ure was 25-plus chil­dren ages one to 10 and sev­er­al women.

On Wednesday, CMTT of­fi­cials said the num­ber has risen to 40 chil­dren—in­clud­ing or­phans—and 16 women.

UN High Com­mis­sion­er Michele Bachelet re­cent­ly said al Hol hous­es 55,000 al­leged for­eign Isis fight­ers from near­ly 50 coun­tries and 11,000 fam­i­ly mem­bers—wives and chil­dren.

On Tues­day, Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty Min­is­ter Stu­art Young said the Gov­ern­ment can­not “at this time” give the un­der­tak­ing to fa­cil­i­tate the re­turn of those de­tained at the camp since the first thing that has to be done is a ver­i­fi­ca­tion ex­er­cise to es­tab­lish who ex­ists, whether they’re in fact T&T cit­i­zens and their back­ground.

He said the Gov­ern­ment has to treat with these mat­ters care­ful­ly and the camp hous­es peo­ple who’ve fled Isis war zones.

He said Gov­ern­ment has poli­cies/pro­ce­dures which they’ve im­ple­ment­ed in­clud­ing the use of Team Nightin­gale, a mul­ti-agency task force com­pris­ing the Counter Traf­fick­ing and Counter-Ter­ror­ism units po­lice, De­fence Force, Im­mi­gra­tion, Na­tion­al Se­cu­ri­ty and oth­er in­tel­li­gence agen­cies. The group li­ais­es with oth­er such ser­vices

Sources said most re­cent names com­ing to CMTT in­clud­ed chil­dren from sev­er­al Rio Claro fam­i­lies and some of the chil­dren are or­phaned. Among oth­er or­phans at the camp said to have T&T roots, is a 16- year- old boy.

Of­fi­cers have vis­it­ed Rio Claro Imam Naz­im Mo­hammed, he has con­firmed.

He gave them the names of his sev­en great-grand­chil­dren who are in Iraq. Their moth­ers— his three grand­daugh­ters—and his daugh­ter, 53, are serv­ing 20- year sen­tences for sus­pect­ed Isis links.

They went to Iraq in 2015. The chil­dren were re­port­ed to be in a cen­tre near the area where their moth­ers are jailed Oth­er fam­i­lies in Cen­tral were al­so vis­it­ed by gov­ern­ment of­fi­cers re­cent­ly.

- by Gail Alexander

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