ISIS a Threat to the Caribbean Says US General

U.S. Southern Command, Commander Gen. John F. Kelly briefs the media on the current state of USSOUTHCOM affairs, March 20, 2013. (DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released)

WASHINGTON, United States (CMC) – A top United States general has expressed deep concern that a small number of moti­vated Islamic State fighters could commit acts of terror in Caribbean nations.

General John Kelly, commander of the Miami-based US Southern Command, or SouthCOM, in Florida, USA, told reporters on Friday at the Pentagon, Washington DC, USA, that about 150 Islamic extre­mists left the Caribbean region to join Islamic State fighters in the Middle East last year, about 50 more than in the previous year.

However, he said the biggest threat might not be the extremists who leave to train and fight with the Islamic State but the ones who stay behind.

Kelly, who oversees US security in Latin America and the Carib­bean, said Islamic extre­mist groups seem to have a new message for would-be jihadists.

“And that [message] is: ‘Rather than coming here to Syria, why don’t you just stay at home and do San Bernardino or do Boston or do Fort Hood?’” he said, allu­ding to attacks in the US perpetrated by Muslims sympathetic to extremist groups.

As recently as Thursday, a gunman claiming allegiance to the Islamic State ambushed a police officer as he sat in his car in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

The US general said these would-be attackers largely come from former British colonies within the Caribbean and along its borders, and at least a few have been killed fighting for the Islamic State group.

He estimated about 150 radicals have attemp- ted to join the Isla­mic State group as of this year, up from his estimate last year of roughly 100.

Last year, Kelly told the United States Congress that those who succeeded in reaching Islamic State group territory “get good at killing and pick up some job skills”, such as working with explosives and beheading enemy fighters for propaganda purposes.

“If they went over radicalised, one would expect they’d come back at least that radicalised,” he said.

Limited security resources


The security problem is exacerbated by the limited resources of Caribbean Community (Caricom) countries, such as Jamaica, Trini­dad and Tobago, and Suriname, “which don’t have organisations comparable to the America’s military, or its Transportation Safety Administration”, said a report by US News and World Report.

“Even just a few of these nuts can cause an awful lot of trouble down in the Caribbean because [those countries] don’t have an FBI (Federal Bureau of Inves­tigation), they don’t have law enforcement like we do,” Kelly said. “And many of these countries have very, very small militaries—if they have militaries at all.”

Caribbean security experts have warned that extremists could exploit the region’s relatively open borders with the US and Canada.


1 Comment on ISIS a Threat to the Caribbean Says US General

  1. Why is he bringing the Caribbean into his ISIS discussion. General don’t you know that by your words you are exposing the Caribbean to such threat? By your words you are giving ISIS ideas to carry out their evil and wicked acts. Don’t you know that power is in the tongue, spoken words can take effect, become reality. So instead of speaking negative words over the Caribbean, speak positive words such as, “God will protect us.”

    The solutions to all the madness in the we are facing in the world is in one and that is God. There is no other solution but until we as humans recognize this and turn to Him for solutions chaos will always follow.

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