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The US Says This Caribbean National Is A Global TerroristTHE HIGH COURT GRANTED THE ORDER AGAINST SHANE CRAWFORD AFTER AN APPLICATION FILED BY ATTORNEY GENERAL FARIS AL-RAWI.
The assets of Trinidadian-born ISIS fighter Shane Crawford have been frozen in his homeland, on the heels of the United States classifying him as a global terrorist.
Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi announced that an application was filed under Section 22 of the twin-island republic’s Anti- Terrorism Act to freeze Crawford’s funds. The order was granted on Friday.
Al-Rawi said the development followed several months of intelligence sharing and investigative co-operation between Trinidad and Tobago and the US and United Kingdom.
“Such action against Crawford…represents a new threshold in T&T’s fight against terrorism and the spread of violent extremism ideologies,” he said. “Vigorous work continues domestically and with our international partners in respect of Mr Crawford and other persons and entities of interest.”
Crawford is now the 341st individual or entity listed under the Anti-Terrorist Act.
“We have more listings which would be sent to the court very shortly,” the Attorney General added.
Crawford was among five people whom the US Department of State added to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists last Thursday.
The State Department said the Trinidadian – also known by the names Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi, Asadullah, and Asad – is believed to be a foreign terrorist fighter in Syria carrying out terrorist activity on behalf of ISIS, including acting as an English language propagandist for the group.
The designation means that US citizens are prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with him, and that all of his property and interests in property under US jurisdiction have been frozen.
However, it is unclear whether Crawford is even still alive.
In an interview with the Trinidad Guardian in February, his mother said she had not had any communication with him since October 2016, despite previously hearing him on a regular basis.
Before leaving Trinidad, Crawford was detained during the 2011 state of emergency along with 14 others believed to have been part of a plot to assassinate the then prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.
However, they were all later released and Crawford left the twin-island republic in November 2013 to go to Syria. He was one of the first Muslims known to have left Trinidad and Tobago to join ISIS.
Trump Worried About Trinidad and Tobago’s ISIS Links
SHANE CRAWFORD WAS ONE OF THE FIRST THREE MUSLIMS TO LEAVE TRINIDAD AND TOBAGO TO JOIN ISIS.
Trinidadian man who made headlines last year when he admitted to killings in his homeland and urged Muslims still living there to wage jihad in the twin-island republic, has now been categorized by the United States as a global terrorist.
Shane Dominic Crawford – whose also goes by the names Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi, Asadullah, Shane Asadullah Crawford and Asad – is among five people whom the US Department of State yesterday added to its list of Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs) under an executive order which imposes sanctions on foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals or the national security, foreign policy, or the country’s economy.
The 31-year-old Crawford is “believed to be a foreign terrorist fighter in Syria carrying out terrorist activity on behalf of ISIS, including acting as an English language propagandist for the group,” the US State Department said.
The SDGT designation means that US citizens are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions or dealings with Crawford or any of the others – Sudanese El Shafee Elsheikh; British extremist Anjem Choudary; Sami Bouras, a Swedish citizen of Tunisian descent; and New Zealand national Mark John Taylor – and all of their property and interests in property under US jurisdiction have been frozen.
The US State Department said yesterday’s action notifies the US public and the international community that Crawford, Elsheikh, Choudary, Bouras, and Taylor have committed or pose a significant risk of committing acts of terrorism.
Last year in an interview with ISIS magazine Dabiq, Crawford spoke about his own “jihad endeavour” in his homeland. He admitted that he and a few of his Muslims brothers took revenge “whenever the disbelievers in Trinidad would kill or harm a Muslim”.
Crawford, identified in the article as a sniper for ISIS, was one of the first three Muslims to leave Trinidad and Tobago to join the terrorist organization.
The former Christian who converted to Islam left his homeland for war-torn Syria in 2013.
President Trump calls Trinidad and Tobago
United States officials are reportedly concerned that Trinidad and Tobago nationals who have joined ISIS could return and pose a threat to US interests.
Following President Donald Trump’s call to Trinidad and Tobago Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley over the weekend, the New York Times carried a report in which it outlined the US concern about the twin-island republic, a country described as “a breeding ground for extremists”.
The article, entitled ‘Trying to Stanch Trinidad’s Flow of Young Recruits to ISIS’, quoted a White House spokeswoman, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, as saying that in that weekend telephone conversation, they spoke about terrorism and other security challenges, including foreign fighters.
Trump, who campaigned on an explicit ban of all Muslims from entering the United States, recently moved to prevent citizens of seven majority-Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Syria, Sudan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia – from entering the US for an initial period of 90 days. However, that ban was blocked by the courts. Trump will next week sign a new executive order for an updated travel ban that will address some of the issues brought up in the courts. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said it will be a “tighter, more streamlined version of the first executive order”.
“American officials worry about having a breeding ground for extremists so close to the United States, fearing that Trinidadian ISIS fighters could return from the Middle East and attack American diplomatic and oil installations in Trinidad, or even take a three-and-a-half-hour flight to Miami,” the New York Times article stated.
It pointed to Trinidad’s history of Islamist extremism – specifically the failed coup by a radical Muslim led by Yasin Abu Bakr in 1990; a Trinidadian jailed for life in the US for his role in a plot to blow up Kennedy International Airport; and that 130 people have made the trip to Syria join ISIS from Trinidad.
It also noted that, according to former US Ambassador to Trinidad John Estrada, Trinidad has the greatest number of foreign fighters per capita from the Western Hemisphere who have joined the Islamic State.
In fact, the New York Times quoted Juan S. Gonzalez, a former deputy assistant secretary of state for Western Hemisphere affairs, as saying that the bulk of Islamic State fighters from Latin America originated in the twin-island republic and the numbers underscore a risk of lone-wolf attacks in the region.
“Is the Caribbean, Trinidad and Tobago, the United States, prepared for these guys to return back to their countries? This is a real vulnerability,” he warned.
Man arrested in Trinidad for hoax terrorist threat
Trinidad and Tobago’s Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley got a surprise calls from American President Donald Trump during which the leader of the twin-island republic was invited to Washington.
Although not much was disclosed about the conversation, the US Embassy in Trinidad said that in the call from Trump, which came around 4:40 p.m. on Sunday, the leaders “spoke about a number of issues of mutual interest to Trinidad and Tobago and the United States”.
It said the two agreed that both administrations would continue to strengthen the relationship which exists between the two countries.
The Embassy also mentioned Trump’s invitation to Rowley on its social media pages.
“The two leaders reaffirmed the strong security partnership and agreed to continue close coordination in the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime. President Trump invited Prime Minister Rowley to visit Washington, D.C., in the coming months,” it added.
Trinidadians Held in Turkey for Alleged ISIS Involvement
Meantime, the Embassy announced earlier today that the US is working with the twin-island republic to fight money laundering and terrorism financing.
It said that John Murphy, an economic crime advisor from US Treasury, is currently working with the T&T government regulatory, intelligence, investigative and prosecutorial entities to enhance capabilities and respond to concerns raised in the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force’s Mutual Evaluation Report.
The technical assistance is based on an agreement signed between the United States and Trinidad and Tobago in August 2016.