Tue | May 23, 2017

No evidence teen planned to join ISIS - police

Published:Tuesday | April 28, 2015 | 4:00 AM

The police say they have no evidence that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) was recruiting a 16-year-old Jamaican male student who was recently denied entry to Suriname.

The Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Branch

(C-TOC) has been investigating the circumstances surrounding Suriname's denial of entry to the St Mary teenager, who was transiting through the country on his way to Istanbul, Turkey.

C-TOC says, to date, its investigations have not confirmed that ISIS was recruiting the student or that he was providing any material support to any fundamentalist group associated with the Islamists.

Anomalies pointed out

However, C-TOC says anomalies that emerged during the initial checks had to be verified to protect the interest of the child and safeguard legitimate national security interests.

Among the anomalies pointed out by the police is the fact that the teenager was travelling as an unaccompanied minor on an itinerary that would see him making several connections on a route known to be used by persons seeking to join ISIS.

The police also noted that the student stated the purpose of his trip as a vacation during a period when he was scheduled to be in school and that he said he would be meeting his grandmother in Turkey, although there was no evidence that she would be travelling there.

In addition, the police say the trip, which cost more than $300,000 was being financed by persons living outside of Jamaica, and not all of them were known by the student.

They also say family members were unable to assist them in clearing up several of the anomalies that emerged during the investigation.

The 16-year-old boy, who was in state custody for more than a week, was released into the care of his father last week.