The community of Rancho Quemado in Erin recoiled in shock yesterday when a young father of three was shot dead and left in a ditch by his killer, hours after a community sports day ended.
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Crawford dead since October
According to an international newspaper, the Middle East Eye, Crawford, who had been hit it by a US drone strike in October last year, eventually “succumbed to his injuries.”
It said although Crawford had been confirmed as killed, he was added to a list of ‘Specially Designated Global Terrorists’ (SDGT), by the US State Department in March this year.
T&T had also designated Crawford a terrorist.
The newspaper also reportedly contacted Crawford’s mother Joan, who had confirmed her son was hit in a US drone strike in October last year and eventually “succumbed to his injuries.”
“It feels like a part of me has gone. It’s something I know would have happened. As a Muslim I understand and accept, but as a mother I grieve,” the Middle East Eye quoted Crawford’s mother as saying.
Crawford left for Syria in 2013 and was believed to have been the first of more than 100 Trinidadians to leave the Caribbean nation for the Islamic State.
In March this year, Attorney General Faris Al-Rawi obtained a High Court Order under the Anti-Terrorism Act declaring Crawford to be a listed entity and freezing his funds.
The order against Crawford, also known as “Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi” and “Asadullah,” came after several months of intelligence sharing and investigative cooperation between T&T and its foreign counterparts, including the US and UK.
Crawford appeared in an ISIS recruitment video last year, where he called on Muslims in Trinidad to commit acts of violence against “non-believers.” Crawford, 31, is originally from Enterprise, Chaguanas, was also featured in an ISIS online propaganda magazine.
He first entered the public’s eye after being detained during the 2011 state of emergency and was investigated for an alleged plot to kill former prime minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar. Despite being detained for 14 days, no charges were laid against him.
The US State Department has identified Crawford as an English language interpreter and propagandist for ISIS.
Under US law, sanctions are imposed on “foreign persons determined to have committed, or pose a significant risk of committing, acts of terrorism that threaten the security of US nationals, or the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States.”
In 2014, his mother had told another newspaper that her son left this country because of a sense of “inadequacy” with what his life had become in T&T and because of the need to find a greater purpose. She had also said he would never leave Syria to return to T&T.