Trinidad and Tobago

Overview:  The threat of domestic radicalization and recruitment to violence,  and the possible return of individuals who traveled, or attempted to travel, to Syria or Iraq to fight with ISIS, are the primary terrorism concerns in Trinidad and Tobago (TT).

TT and the United States continued to cooperate on counterterrorism investigations involving TT nationals.  The Government of Trinidad and Tobago (GoTT) approved a returning FTF policy in 2022 and is currently working on draft legislation that would address a variety of repatriation, R&R, and security matters related to returning FTFs.

2022 Terrorist Incidents:  There were no terrorist incidents reported in TT in 2022.

Legislation, Law Enforcement, and Border Security:  There were no arrests or prosecutions initiated against any terrorist groups or individuals suspected of terrorist activity in 2022.  In 2022 the GoTT obtained 11 court orders related to 12 individuals and entities related to designations and de-listings.  Since the 2005 passage of its Antiterrorism Act, the GoTT has obtained 145 court orders for matters related to terrorist financing and has designated 489 individuals and entities, whose assets have been declared frozen.

The GoTT is undertaking reforms, including the introduction of plea bargaining and judge-only trials, aimed at speeding up the lengthy judicial process.  These developments may lead to increased prosecutions of serious crimes, including terrorism.

As noted above, the GoTT approved a returning FTF policy in 2022 and is working on a draft bill that would address a variety of issues, including R&R, prosecution, and other security matters related to repatriating FTFs and their families from Syria.  At year’s end, the draft bill was still in the law review committee stage.

The GoTT continues to convene an interagency taskforce known as Taskforce Nightingale (TFN).  This task force is charged with developing recommendations related to the possible return of FTFs and others who traveled to the Middle East and joined ISIS.  TFN consists of various law enforcement, judicial, foreign affairs, military, immigration, and border protection officers.  Separate from TFN, the National Operations Fusion Center and the National Intelligence Fusion Center are tasked with coordinating the GoTT’s counterterrorism operations.

TT’s institutions demonstrated the capability to detect, deter, and prevent acts of terrorism with the assistance of international partners.  The TT Police Service is the law enforcement agency with primary responsibility for investigating terrorism and terrorism-finance cases.  The GoTT conducts vulnerability assessments on critical public infrastructure on a periodic basis.  Nonetheless, TT’s southern coast, which is approximately seven miles from the Venezuelan coast, remained porous and vulnerable to drug and arms trafficking, human trafficking and smuggling, and illegal migration.

The CARICOM Implementation Agency for Crime and Security, with funding from the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs, is assisting TT in the development of updated API and PNR legislation that would permit the capture and use of PNR data.  The implementation of API/PNR data is critical to the fight against terrorism and transnational organized crime.  Together with UNODC, the GoTT began implementing the regional Seaport Cooperation Project and Airport Communications Project, both of which help address border security challenges and include numerous CT-focused initiatives.

Countering the Financing of Terrorism:  TT is a member of the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force and its FIU, the Financial Intelligence Unit of Trinidad and Tobago, is a member of the Egmont Group.  There were no significant changes in 2022.

For further information on money laundering and financial crimes, see the 2022 International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, Volume 2, Money Laundering and Financial Crimes.

Countering Violent Extremism:  The GoTT developed a National Plan for Preventing and Countering Violent Extremism; however, the plan still was awaiting approval at year’s end.  The GoTT partners with UNDP on the Prevention of Violent Extremism-Youth Empowerment and Strengthening Project in TT.  This project is a peacebuilding effort that seeks to engage youth-led and youth-focused organizations, women’s rights groups, other NGOs, and community-based organizations in the development and implementation of projects that promote peace at the community level.

International and Regional Cooperation:  TT is a member of CICTE.  The GoTT continued to work with its CARICOM and international partners on CT issues.  For example:

In 2022, various TT law enforcement officials participated in training on terrorism and intelligence awareness facilitated under the Caribbean Basin Security Initiative.  In May, TT officials participated in the seventh annual International Countering Violent Extremism Research Conference in Spain, organized by Hedayah and the Euro-Arab Foundation.  In September, TT’s Minister of National Security also participated in an OAS-hosted high-level dialogue at the first meeting of Consultation of States Parties to the Inter-American Convention Against Terrorism.

Finally, the Borough of Chaguanas (located in central TT) remains a member of the Strong City Network, which is a global U.S.-funded network of mayors, policy makers, and practitioners united in building social cohesion and resilience to countering violent extremism in all its forms.

On This Page

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future