Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi yesterday declared the new Anti-Terrorism Amendment Bill 2018 will significantly strengthen this country’s ability to combat the scourge of terrorism. Al-Rawi made statement as he laid the bill in the House of Representatives. In a letter to Opposition Leader Kamla Persad-Bissessar, dated January 19, Al-Rawi had promised to lay the bill in the House yesterday.
He said the bill contains comprehensive measures which include criminalisation of travel for the purpose of committing terrorist acts and deeming these people as foreign terrorist fighters, redefining terrorism to broaden the scope of an act to include actions taken outside of TT, allowing the national security minister to designate travel to a particular area as travel for a terrorist act, a clear mechanism for TT to propose names of suspected terrorists to the United Nations Security Council and provisions to address risks posed to children, including recruiting and taking them into conflict zones.
Al-Rawi said through this legislation, its own initiatives and in collaboration with its international partners, TT, “will stand up and be counted among the valiant and determined nations committed to end the scourge of terrorism.” To date, Al-Rawi said Government has been able to operationalise the targeted financial sanctions under the Anti-Terrorism Act which were not done by its People’s Partnership (PP) predecessor.
Noting TT’s failure to address deficiencies in the legislation could have negative economic and security implications, Al-Rawi said Government inserted a three-fifths majority in the bill and proposed that it be referred to a parliamentary joint select committee which will report back to the Parliament by March 31. The House agreed with Al-Rawi’s proposal. Earlier in the sitting, Al-Rawi said 30 out of 42 men on Death Row are subject to hanging but are yet to exhaust their appeals. “The law will be upheld,” he said.
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon told MPs a recent search at the Port of Spain prison resulted in the seizure of marijuana and other contraband from prisoners. He explained searches are done on a routine basis, as well as in cases when certain information is received by the authorities.