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  • Public and private-sector personnel are scheduled to participate in a training exercise later this month, aimed at boosting Jamaica’s terrorism preparedness and response.
  • “It is going to be a measurement of readiness of sectors such as tourism, utilities, the response of law enforcement (and) the coordination mechanisms. All of these are going to be tested and examined and areas of improvement are going to be put forth,” Mr. Sykes informed.
  • Mr. Sykes said Jamaica has been preparing for any potential threats or acts of terrorism through, among other things, the reorganisation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to include the creation of a Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division.

Public and private-sector personnel are scheduled to participate in a training exercise later this month, aimed at boosting Jamaica’s terrorism preparedness and response.

The two-day tabletop exercise (TTX) is being sponsored by the British High Commission in conjunction with the Financial Investigations Division (FID).

TTXs involve key personnel discussing simulated scenarios in an informal setting. They can be used to assess plans, policies, and procedures.

Chief Technical Director in the FID, Robin Sykes, said that during the training, participants will be exposed to measures to treat with an actual terrorist event.

He said the training will draw on the expertise of persons with experience in acts of terrorism such as the July 2005 bombings in London, England.

“It is going to be a measurement of readiness of sectors such as tourism, utilities, the response of law enforcement (and) the coordination mechanisms. All of these are going to be tested and examined and areas of improvement are going to be put forth,” Mr. Sykes informed.

He was addressing the Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) press conference in Montego Bay, St. James, on June 8.

Mr. Sykes said Jamaica has been preparing for any potential threats or acts of terrorism through, among other things, the reorganisation of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to include the creation of a Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Division.

He noted that although the country is not seen as high risk for a terrorist attack “the impacts are widespread and, therefore, that is enough reason to ensure that Jamaica is not a weak link in respect to the global fight against terrorism.”

Meanwhile, Chairman of the CFATF and Attorney General of Trinidad and Tobago, Hon. Faris Al-Rawi, said the region has a “measured and cohesive approach to dealing with the issue of terrorism”.

He noted that there is reciprocal sharing of information between enforcement agencies in the region and partner entities in the United States, Canada, the Dutch, the French, and Latin American countries such as Venezuela and Columbia.

Mr. Al-Rawi said there are also laws that each country is obliged to enact in accordance with the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2178.

These laws, he noted, are important in the fight against terrorism as the movement of terrorists within the region can pose a real danger to security.

“There has to be not only a lawful obligation on the books of each country which can apply…but there has to be an intelligence-driven aspect and I think that the region as a whole has been doing its very best to make sure that that is managed appropriately,” he said.

Mr. Al-Rawi noted that the repatriation of terrorists to the region is of concern particularly when they have been to ISIS-held territories, in particular Iraq and Syria, where they have been trained.

CFATF is an organisation of 27 states of the Caribbean, which have agreed to implement common measures to address the problem of criminal money laundering.

The entity hosted its Plenary and Working Groups Meeting in Montego Bay from June 6-9.