PORT-OF-SPAIN, Trinidad – The government of Trinidad and Tobago has reportedly confirmed that nine of its citizens will be deported from Turkey after being detained while trying to enter Syria or Iraq to join the Islamic State group.
The Trinidad and Tobago Guardian said in an article published Wednesday that Attorney General Faris al-Rawi told it the nine will be under surveillance and could face criminal charges for involvement with a terrorist group.
"At the end of the day, anybody in an alleged circumstance of terrorism has to face the courts. There is due process and it must be done fairly but at the same time you have to take an intelligence-based approach to this," al-Rawi told the newspaper.
The attorney general could not be reached for comment Wednesday by The Associated Press.
National Security Minister Edmund Dillon told reporters that authorities were attempting to learn more through diplomatic channels about the detained Trinidadians, who were reportedly stopped in a vehicle by Turkish officials while en route to the country's southern borders with Iraq and Syria. He declined to discuss their situation or any alleged offenses in detail.
In its most recent Country Report on Terrorism, the State Department said that more than 70 nationals of Trinidad and Tobago are believed to be fighting with the Islamic State group in Syria.
A recent online issue of an Islamic State magazine included a profile and interview with a man who said he was a Trinidadian citizen who converted from Christianity to Islam and has since become a sniper for the group.