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National Security Minister dismisses reports that Jamaicans among ISIS recruits

Published:Sunday | March 15, 2015 | 12:00 AM

Jamaica’s national security ministry says reports that a top United States military official has listed the island as one of several countries in the Caribbean from which persons have left to join the terrorist group Islamic State (ISIS) may be the result of a misunderstanding.

Commander of the US Southern Command General John Kelly is reported to have told the Armed Services Committee of the US Senate last Thursday that about 100 persons from Jamaica, Trinidad & Tobago, Suriname and Venezuela have joined ISIS.

But in a statement yesterday, National Security Minister Peter Bunting said the prepared text of the speech delivered by General Kelly did not name Jamaica and, as a result, the reported comment may be the result of a misunderstanding.

Noting that Jamaica enjoys high levels of cooperation with the US on security matters, Bunting says to date the Jamaican government has received no information that Jamaicans are leaving the island to join ISIS.
In addition, Bunting says his ministry has been monitoring the emerging situation regarding the recruiting efforts of international terrorists groups and has found nothing to indicate that Jamaicans are involved.

However, he says the government has initiated dialogue with its US counterparts in order to ascertain the source of the reported claim and the extent of any potential concerns that may require Jamaica’s intervention.