Family says Jamaican terror suspect is innocent
Two family members of the Jamaican teenager who was detained in Suriname on Saturday on suspicion of being on his way to join terrorist organization Islamic State, vehemently deny that the boy has any terrorist connections. According to them the boy was on his way to the Netherlands to meet up with his mother and grandmother.
The Suriname police believe that the boy's final destination would have been Turkey, via the Netherlands. This route is often used by would-be jihadists on their way to join ISIS. The boy was flown back to Jamaica after being questioned and the Jamaican police have confirmed that they have him in custody.
Yesterday the boy's grandfather told the Jamaica Observer that he was only traveling as far as the Netherlands to spend time with family. "Dem talking about ISIS, the boy was not part of any group. The only thing I know is that him love to play football and run up and down in the lane with his friends. The information that they are spreading is untrue and will only help to destroy the youths future", the boy's grandfather told the newspaper. "He is innocent; I hear the security forces come and spreading all kinds of news, but the information is incorrect; the boy was going to visit his grandmother, he was not going to join ISIS."
The boy's granduncle spoke to the Jamaica Gleaner and confirmed that he was going to the Netherlands to meet up with his mother and grandmother. According to the granduncle, he was running away to England for a better life. "Him born and grow up at St Mary, him a good pickney. Him don't know bout no terrorist thing. Is England him a go to stay with him mother, him never plan to come back." the elderly man told the newspaper. "Him mother and grandmother was waiting on him at the airport over there."
According to Jamaican media the police high command confirmed that the teen is in their custody. They also said that detectives from the Counter Terrorism and Organized Crime Branch "have been tasked to pursue several lines of investigation in relation to the incident".