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The Calypso Caliphate: How Trinidad Became a Recruiting Ground for ISIS

Cottee, Simon (2019) The Calypso Caliphate: How Trinidad Became a Recruiting Ground for ISIS. International Affairs, 95 (2). pp. 297-317. ISSN 0020-5850. E-ISSN 1468-2346. (doi:10.1093/ia/iiz026) (KAR id:72058)


Trinidad and Tobago (T&T), a small twin-Island republic in the Caribbean, has one of the highest rates of foreign fighter radicalization in the western hemisphere. According to official estimates, around 130 Trinidadian nationals migrated to ISIS-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq between 2013 and 2016. This article seeks to make sense of these migrations, placing them in the broader historical and social context in which they occurred. Drawing on a range of quantitative and qualitative primary sourcematerial, the article finds, contrary to expectation, that the archetypal adult ISIS traveller from T&T is not a marginalized, youthful and mostly male city dweller who radicalized outside of a mosque, but is in fact as likely to be female as male, who is in his or her mid-30s, married, has children, attends a mosque, lives in a rural area, and has suffered neither the pains of economic hardship nor the ill-effects of marginalization from the wider society because of his or her Muslim identity. As well as emphasizing the intersection between the local and the global in jihadist foreign traveller mobilizations, the article also demonstrates the importance of personal connections in the migrations of Trinidadians to Syria and Iraq, lending further support to research on the centrality of social networks in facilitating radicalization and foreign fighter mobilizations.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/ia/iiz026
Uncontrolled keywords: Americas; Conflict, Security, and Defence
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Lisa Towers
Date Deposited: 29 Jan 2019 10:26 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 06:30 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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