Nine Trinidad and Tobago nationals held in Turkey trying to join ISIS

Monday, August 1, 2016 - 06:15

Turkish authorities have nabbed a Syrian man suspected of trying to smuggle nine Trinidad and Tobago citizens from southern Turkey to the ISIS terrorist organization in Syria Monday, a report in the Turkish newspaper, "Daily Sabah" said.

The Trinidadians were traveling in a truck stopped by police on a tip-off that "foreigners" would join the terrorist organization active in Syria and Iraq.

Assem Hasseno, a Syrian suspect accused of transporting unidentified Trinidadians to Syria, was detained while the group was deported after they were questioned.

Hasseno was remanded in custody.

Adana is among the cities near the Syrian border where foreign fighters attempt to illegally cross to join ISIS.

Turkey, which shares a lengthy border with Syria, is popular among ISIS's foreign recruits from all across the globe.

SEE ALSO: Four T&T ISIS fighters captured by Turkish security forces

Since 2011, Turkey has deported more than 3,290 foreign terrorist fighters from 95 countries and refused more 38,269 individuals entry to Turkey in its fight against ISIS, which counts the Muslim-majority country among its enemies.

ISIS is responsible for a string of terror attacks in Ankara and Istanbul, as well as cross-border fire from Syria that has killed a number of residents since last year in Turkish border towns.

The Syrian suspect was remanded in custody after an appearance at a local court, while the nine Trinidad and Tobago nationals were transferred to Adana Provincial Migration Management for deportation procedures, the report said.

This is not the first time that Trinidad and Tobago nationals associated with ISIS have been held by Turkish forces.

In January this year, Turkish newspaper Hurriyet reported that four Trinidad and Tobago nationals were among 961 foreign members of ISIS captured by Turkish forces.