Griffith: I never said that

Former National Security Minister Gary Griffith is denying a report in the Guardian Newspaper that he said Foreign Terrorist Fighters (FTFs) from this country have probably returned to Trinidad and Tobago.

The report says that Griffith said it is highly probable that the FTFs have returned and are recruiting members for ISIS. Griffith, however, denies ever saying it. 

"At no time have I ever received any information, during my tenure as Security Minister or after, of any National becoming a Foreign Terrorist Fighter  and returning to our country, and at no time have I ever stated this," Griffith said.

"There is data to verify that some Nationals have indeed travelled to Syria to become Foreign Terrorist Fighters, but to my knowledge, there has been no data provided to state that any of them have returned, which is why I have stated that consideration be given for  Legislation to be enacted to prevent such individuals from returning, by invalidating their passport, as is being considered in some countries such as Canada and Australia," he added.

Griffith said there may been citizens who have travelled to Syria and returned home, but those persons were not deemed as FTFs and said that not every person who leaves Syria should be labelled as a terrorist.
"This is a time when we all need to be very vigilant and aware of what is happening around us, and never assume that terrorism cannot strike in our country, as the Prime Minister rightfully stated, so the proper systems must be put in place to provide the deterrent and also to ensure that there is the immediate strike if it ever happens," the former National Security Minister told the media.

He expressed confidence that Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley as the Chair of the National Security Council has the issue "as a front burning issue," and says he is sure Dr Rowley is doing all that is possible to secure the country against any form of terrorism.

Griffith called on citizens to aid the authorities by "providing their eyes and ears" in order to aid them "so they can protect you."

He cautioned the public on a terrorist tactic of fear saying that it is a tool used to destabilise a country.

"The recent photos and allegations of planned attacks in New York and Washington shows just that, as the enemy would not deliberately reveal their plan as it would cause one to be prepared, so it was done to deliberately cause fear and panic among citizens in that country.
"We must not be fearful, but however we must be careful," Griffith concluded.

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