On Friday, the New York Times reported that 16-year-old Su-lay Su from TT was one of the eight terrorists captured during the operations carried out by Syrian Democratic Forces’ Special Operations Team on January 6 and 7.
Su was initially mis-identified as Soulay Noah Su aka Abu Souleiman al-Amriki from America when he was apprehended on the battlefield in Syria with fighters for the Islamic State.
It was later learned that Su was taken to Syria by his mother, Gailon Su, when he was 12 years old. Gailon converted to Islam after becoming romantically involved with Trinidadian Anthony Hamlet.
Su’s sister, Sarah Lee Su, 23, told the Times, “Once they got to Syria they told me that this guy took their documents and destroyed them, and said, ‘You are now going to stay here and die.’”
The Times further stated, “According to a database maintained by Simon Cottee, a University of Kent criminologist, the mother and son were part of a group of ten people taken to Syria by Anthony Hamlet; also included were Mr Hamlet’s second wife, two of his daughters and three other boys.”
Commenting on the situation, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi said Government paid attention to media coverage but took reports “with a pound of salt” as reporters may not have all the facts.
He said, in that case, as with the case of brothers Mahmud and Ayyub Ferreira, 11 and nine respectively, who were said to be stranded in a camp in Syria, Government would take a “measured investigative approach” with local and international law enforcement partners.
“Anything that touches and concerns the issue of terrorism is something that we take seriously. When there are allegations of this kind, what happens is that it is fed into the matrix of our national security partners – the Minister of National Security, the Commissioner of Police, the Attorney General, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the National Security Council.
“Obviously we do the tour with Interpol and other foreign agencies, not only to verify what has been reported but also to investigate whether offences have been committed and also what the consequences of the commission of those offences aught to be.”
Al-Rawi said after the facts were established, the law would be applied to each situation and the government would take appropriate steps.
However, he said if a citizen broke the laws of another jurisdiction, then they would be liable to the consequences in that jurisdiction. He gave the example of Karim Ibrahim who was convicted in the US for a terror plot at the JFK airport and incarcerated. “TT does not get involved in circumstances where respected democratic countries sentence our citizens for their involvement in crimes.”