When Rondell Henry was arrested for plotting, and to a certain extent attempting, to do a mass murder at the National Harbor, I wrote
But it turns out that Mr. Henry is, yes, a black Muslim, but not a black American Muslim, he's a computer engineer from Trinidad. (This may explain his almost normal name. ) And while Trinidad is not usually thought of as source of computer engineers, it is a source of terrorists.
Todd Bensman writes at CIS.org:
One question that should be asked and answered about this week's FBI arrest of ISIS-inspired Rondell Henry, who allegedly aspired to a vehicle-ramming attack on Maryland's National Harbor, is whether he or his plot had any live connection to his Caribbean island nation of origin, Trinidad and Tobago (T&T). The 28-year-old computer engineer immigrated from T&T, became a naturalized U.S. citizen, and converted to Islam at some point on his life journey that has, for now, ended in a Maryland jail cell.
The question of whether he maintained associations on his homeland islands matters because, as I have written, they have become a hotbed of Islamist extremism in America's southern sphere of interest, with hundreds of its citizens — men, women, and whole families — having joined the now-defunct ISIS caliphate in Iraq and Syria. Immigration and travel between the islands and the United States should be under greater scrutiny for this odd development alone, but most definitely — and much more so — if it turns out that Henry's conversion, radicalization, and alleged plot had any roots in Trinidad and Tobago.
Though Henry's arrest is still very fresh, nothing so far in the public court filings or the island media addresses the question. T&T National Security Minister Stuart Young essentially stiff-armed questions about it, telling a local newspaper only that the terror plot now involved a U.S. citizen. It's "obviously a matter for the U.S. authorities," Young was quoted locally as saying, pointedly also adding that the Americans will deal with "this U.S. citizen" as appropriate. This response fails to recognize that Islamist terrorism very often is international in nature, directed from abroad, funded or incited by far-away people and groups who may continue to pose a threat.
Bensman points out that there are a lot of Trinidadian Muslims fighting for ISIS overseas. Aside from the terrorism, is immigration from Trinidad good for America? No, it isn't. Nicholas Stix is our inhouse expert on Trinidad. See his Tales from Trinidad, and his own blogging here, here, here, here, here, here and here.
In earlier Caribbean terrorist news, one of the two Washington Snipers (Lee Malvo, 18 at the time) was an illegal from Jamaica. See The Lesson Of Lee Malvo's Fingerprint, by Michelle Malkin, November 26, 2002.