Sun | Apr 23, 2017

No evidence Jamaican teen was going to join ISIS

Published:Monday | April 27, 2015 | 4:28 PM

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

The Counter Terrorism and Organized 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.

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 which 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 to Turkey.

In addition, the police say the trip, which cost over $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.

In a release this afternoon, the police explained that they have an obligation to be proactive to reduce opportunities for any person to become involved either as perpetrator or victim in any form of transnational organized crime.

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.

His family has demanded an apology from the Government.