In many respects, the Jammat al-Muslimeenâs ideology and rhetoric mirror that of militant Black ethno-nationalist movements, including the most radical fringes of the Nation of Islam. Abu Bakrâs supporters see him as a hero fighting for social justice. Interestingly, although most Trinidadians did not support his 1990 coup attempt, many at the time agreed with the issues raised by the Jammat during the crisis, especially impoverished Afro-Trinidadians. At the same time, the Jammat is seen by many locally as a well organized criminal empire involved in everything from drug smuggling, money laundering, kidnapping for ransom, and extortion, with Abu Bakr running the show . Abu Bakr has since been the target of a series of criminal investigations and indictments for his alleged role in ordering the murders of former Jammat members.
Chris Zambelis, who wrote the 2005 analysis for Jamestown, a respected D.C. terrorism think tank, assesses that the real value of the Caribbean for a jihadist organization is as a transit point for moving money or revenue-raising contraband. In another overview, this one written in 2006, Zambelis checked in on Guyana, Defreitas's country of origin:
It is important to note that there is no substantive evidence to date pointing to a nascent radical threat in Guyana. Guyana did make headlines, however, when local sources reported sightings of Adnan G. El Shukrijumah in the region in 2003, a known al-Qaeda operative whose whereabouts remain unknown. Many believe that Shukrijumah was born in Saudi Arabia to a Guyanese father and a Saudi mother, although some sources report that he was born in Guyana (Guyana Chronicle, March 26, 2003). U.S. and regional security and intelligence officials believe that Shukrijumah may have used a Guyanese passport to pass through one or both countries and elsewhere in the region as well (Guyana Chronicle, August 2003). ...
Despite a lack of hard evidence implicating extremist elements operating in Guyana, many observers worry that radical ideologies will find resonance among Guyanese Muslims and others in the region. In many respects, these concerns mirror growing fears of al-Qaeda's ability to inspire Muslims and potentially others across the globe to its cause. By all accounts, the potential threat of radicalism in Guyana should be seen in this context and not as a unique case. Nevertheless, Guyana's porous borders and growing problem with violent crime remain a concern, especially as its security and intelligence capabilities are overwhelmed, thus presenting a potential opening for radical Islamists to gain a foothold.
Expect a lot more scrutiny of radical Islam in the Caribbean as the JFK case unfolds.