PARAMARIBO — A 16-year-old boy from Jamaica was refused passage through Suriname this morning, when immigration’s officers suspected that he was traveling to join terrorist organization ISIS in Turkey.
Police said in a press release that the teenager arrived at the Johan Adolf Pengel Airport on a flight from Jamaica, intending to transit to the Netherlands, from where he would travel to his end destination Turkey. “He was denied entry to Suriname because we received information from a regional intelligence service that he wanted to join ISIS,” police said.
After the boy was interrogated and additional information was received from Jamaica, the decision was made to send him back to Jamaica on the next available flight. Police say the police chief, the Attorney General and management of the Military Police (which runs immigration services) were all involved in the decision making.
The teenager’s name was not given. Police said his repatriation is the result of successful cooperation between local and international intelligence services. “It sends a clear signal that Suriname is doing everything so the region does not become involved in terrorism.”
This case comes just weeks after Jamaica said that there is no information of any Jamaican being involved with ISIS. The island’s Security Ministry released a statement on March 14 following warnings last month from US General John Kelly, Commander of the United States Southern Command (US SOUTHCOMM), that about 100 nationals from several countries in the Caribbean and South America, including Jamaica, have joined ISIS and were returning to the region from where they could pose a threat to the US.
General Kelly said that the countries involved don’t have the ability to monitor those returning well.
Jamaica’s Security Ministry said “…it is possible that the reported comment may be the result of a misunderstanding.” Several countries, including Trinidad, St. Lucia and Suriname also refuted General Kelly’s statements.
Suriname’s national security chief Melvin Linscheer said that no one from Suriname has left the country to join IS training camps in the Middle East. “As far as we know there are no Surinamers there,” he said. Linscheer said that if it did happen he would expect the authorities that are aware of it to inform Suriname security officials.
He said it could be that people who have Surinamese roots but hold Dutch passports and who live in the Netherlands, traveled to IS training camps in Syria and Iraq. “That is a problem that concerns the Netherlands, not us,” he said.