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Preparing for Jamaica's ISIS crisis

Published:Tuesday | December 22, 2015 | 12:00 AMAnthony Gambrill, Contributor
Anthony Gambrill

Given the realisation that the whole world is now a target for ISIS terrorism, the Government of Jamaica is taking steps to prepare for its consequences. At an alleged press conference, de facto Minister of Information Sandrea Falconer recently announced a series of steps to assure all Jamaicans that the nation is upgrading homeland security to confront the potential ISIS crisis head-on.

The national security alert has been raised from green (a meaningless status signifying impotence) to orange (one which inspires confidence). The prime minister is recommending that to avoid being mistaken for a jihadi, it is better to wear orange at all times. Shops are being encouraged to stock up on supplies of essentials such as crackers, sardines, toilet paper, blue soap, video games and bottles of John Crow b***y in case of an emergency lockdown in anticipation of an imminent national terrorism attack.

It is also recommended that women purchase burqas or hijabs and wear them at all social occasions such as cocktail parties, political rallies and PTA meetings. Both men and women should learn a few verses of the Koran in case they are confronted by jihadis who want to know what religion you believe in before they shoot you anyway. At least remember the phrase "Allahu Akbar".



The Government will not be accepting any Syrian refugees in the unlikely event that any ever requests asylum. Airport security will be strengthened and everyone arriving from overseas will be required to strip down to their underwear, body-searched, and their luggage emptied out. Overseas barrels that often contained AK-47s will no longer be allowed. A no-fly zone will be imposed on flights from Trinidad in case there are Trinidadian Muslims on-board. The same goes for flights from Syria, Yemen, Qatar and Afghanistan, of which there are none at present.

Sales of fertiliser are to be suspended for the time being, as everyone is aware that bombs can be made from fertiliser and contained in shoes, computers, backpacks and children's lunch boxes. The Government is also considering a ban on nail polish remover, cooking oil and laxatives for the same reason.

The Jamaica Defence Force will be deployed to provide protection for all members of parliament and an entire battalion will be needed to take up residence around the walls of the fortress home built by the leader of the Opposition to Beverly Hills. It had been decided to rent Cecil the Lion from Zimbabwe for the prime minister's home, but he was shot by a dentist from Minnesota.

Cabinet ministers and other elected representatives will have their vehicles armour-plated at taxpayer, er, government expense. This service will be available to the general public while stocks of steel-plating at the National Solid Waste Management Authority last. Those who can afford it can purchase pepper spray and canisters of tear gas from approved pharmacies and at PNP constituency offices.

The Government will be acquiring a number of drones to be operated by the minister of transport for surveillance purposes. What this is expected to achieve is anybody's guess, other than to identify areas of strong Jamaica Labour Party support.

In the hopefully unlikely case of an ISIS terrorist attack, please note the following: When there is a mass shooting, it is best to find someone to lie on top of you as terrorists are inclined to think the person below is already dead. Try to avoid being taken alive, as it is the practice of jihadis to behead their captives in front of a video camera to gain maximum media attention worldwide. It may be of some satisfaction to know posthumously that you will receive several million hits on the Internet. All atrocities should be recorded on cell phones to post on social media.



Should you lose your life, the Government is committed to declaring you a National Martyr in the cause but cannot guarantee you will be granted an array of virgins in the afterlife, as you would as a member of ISIS. This is not to be taken as an incentive to join ISIS should those men who plan to join having never had the experience of a virgin. A Wall of Fame will be erected in National Heroes Park to honour those in transition.

After the terrorist attack, the Jamaican Government will do everything in its power to bring life back to normal, in particular in the tourist industry. Obviously, there will be an immediate upsurge in tourist numbers with the arrival of CNN, Fox News, the BBC, the Miami Herald and so on, and this should contribute to an immediate spike in tourism revenue. In addition, Sandals has agreed to invite a hundred US Marines to stay at its hotels to boost American confidence in Jamaica as a safe place to vacation.

TripAdvisor has been retained to flood its Internet sites with complimentary comments about Jamaican resorts and to advise that normality has been restored as soon as it has. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt are being asked to fly to Jamaica for a few days and endorse Jamaica as a desirable destination on a videotape recorded from a villa at Round Hill and distributed by the Jamaica Tourist Board.

Meanwhile, all Jamaicans are exhorted, in a spirit of patriotism, to continue to demonstrate their commitment to the nation's values and beliefs, and to encourage the diaspora to keep coming home.

All we have to fear is fear itself. Be the best you can be and have a December to remember.

Any questions?

Journalist: What is the Government doing about climate change, because it is also a threat to Jamaica?

Minister: That's a question for another occasion.

Journalist: But we haven't heard anything about Jamaica's commitment at the climate-change conference in Paris.

Minister: Oh, all right then. We will shortly be announcing that charcoal will be taxed at five dollars a bag from now on.

- Anthony Gambrill is a playwright. Email feedback to