TT is earning a big name internationally with Friday’s capture in Syria of yet another ISIS fighter, Nicholas Lee, 39, originally from Point Fortin. The New York and London Times both reported yesterday that Jamaican-born Sheikh Abdullah el-Faisal was responsible for recruiting over 250 TT nationals, including Lee, to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
Next week, proceedings will start in a court in Jamaica to extradite Faisal to the United States for trial. Lee’s photo appears alongside two other men, released by Kurdish forces as that of six people captured fighters for ISIS in the last four days.
One article quotes Abdul Hamid al-Muhabash who is co-chair of Democratic Autonomous Administration, based in north-eastern Syria, calling on respective governments to repatriate their nationals from war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq.
Muhabash said, “The administration and the Syrian people demand of the states from which ISIS fighters belong – more than 50 nationalities in all – to judge them according to their constitutions.”
About Lee, the Kurdish forces released information that says: “Abu Yousef Al-Amriki. From Trinidad, known also as Nicholas Joseph Lee; Joined in 2014; born 1980.” Lee’s Facebook page is inactive.
Criminologist Dr Simon Cottee who is writing a book on jihadists in the Caribbean, confirmed to Newsday that Lee has been on a database as one of 250 ISIS fighters from TT.
The Sunday Times reported that Faisal was imam of a mosque in south London, from where he recruited young men to join ISIS in Syria and Iraq. The article said, “In Trinidad and Tobago, it is feared that he played a role in channelling as many as 250 people from the small Caribbean islands to ISIS. The recruits include a former beauty queen and her 11-year-old son.”
Last month, TT was in the headlines because of the arrest of several citizens, beginning with Zaid Abdel-Hamid, then Gailon Su-Lay, 43, a former Miss Longdenville beauty queen. Her son, Su-Lay Su, 16, was also taken in by Kurdish forces in Syria. Two weeks ago, a mother brought back her two children from the Kurdish/Syrian border. A number of TT nationals are feared killed fighting for ISIS in Iraq and Syria.