The Guardian

Trinidad's jihadis: how tiny nation became Isis recruiting ground

The Caribbean nation has one of the world’s highest Isis volunteer rates – and most don’t come back
An Isis propaganda image showing fighters from Trinidad and Tobago during military training in Syria.

Five years ago, Tariq Abdul Haqq was one of Trinidad and Tobago’s most promising young boxers, a Commonwealth Games medallist with Olympic dreams.

Now he lies dead somewhere in Iraq or Syria, buried in the ruins of the self-declared caliphate, along with dozens of his countrymen. Together they formed one of the most unlikely, and most underreported groups of fighters drawn to Isis.

The tiny Caribbean nation, with a population of just 1.3 million, lies about 10,000km from the former Isis capital in Raqqa. Yet at the bloody peak of the group’s power, Trinidad and Tobago had one of the highest recruitment rates in the world.

More than 100 of its citizens left to join Islamic State, including about 70 men who planned to fight and die. They were joined by dozens of children and women, the latter including both willing and unwilling companions, security officials

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