Shock over T&T children roped into ISIS

A screenshot of a recruitment video showing Abu Zayd al-Muhajir, surrounded by his three young children. (Photo courtesy of Trinidad Express)

Caribbean viewers were shocked and outraged over a social media recruitment video produced by the Ar-Raqqah Province of Islamic State (ISIS) featuring what appears to be four fighters, including three children, from the twin-island state.

One of the men, identified as Abu Zayd al-Muhajir, was surrounded by his three young children, and called on Trinidad Muslims to join in the fight, according to The Express. In the video, Zayd al-Muhajir said the practice of Islam was limited in Trinidad and Tobago, arguing that though there were no problems in wearing hijab or other Islamic wear,Muslims were only allowed to practice what they were told.

“The only practice that you can practice is what they tell you is halal [permissible] to practice. The other aspects of Islam are haram [forbidden] for you. You cannot practice your deen 100 percent,” he said. “It was yearning for me that I knew I had to leave; I had to leave this land. I cannot sit and watch my children grow up in this land in which they cannot practice their Islam 100 percent.”

Reports of Trinidadians travelling to Syria to fight first emerged last year, when former national security minister Gary Griffith estimated that at least 30 citizens had become terrorist fighters. A United Nations report also named Trinidad and Tobago as a country where fighters were being recruited. The war in Syria has attracted roughly 100 foreign fighters from the Caribbean, said General John Kelly, commander of US Southern Command earlier this year.

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