2 December A Europol report – “Changes in Modus Operandi of IS revisited” – said the extremist group appears to have adopted new tactics as it loses ground in the Middle East amid efforts to oust the militants from their strongholds. It added that intelligence indicates that “several dozen” ISIL members capable of committing terror attacks may be in Europe. Methods used by the group in Iraq and Syria such as car bombs, kidnappings and extortion could be brought into the European Union. It concluded that ISIL is likely to recruit some Syrian refugees to do its bidding in Europe.
2 December Police shot dead two men during a kidnap attempt on a British citizen, John Basil Valentine (49), in the Bella Vista area of Santo Domingo. It is not known if the target lived in the country or was on holiday. Another would be kidnapper known as “El Don” or El Jefe” (45) was wounded and arrested along with four men aged 20-40 years. The motive for the kidnapping attempt is unknown and the police are investigating. The Government of the Dominican Republic issued a statement warning British citizens: “There have been a number of incidents in Santo Domingo where foreigners have been mugged at gunpoint during daytime while walking in residential districts. Take particular care in remote areas, especially at night. Don’t wear expensive jewellery or carry large amounts of cash or expensive items like smart phones or cameras on the street”.
Trinidad and Tobago
24 December Jaavika George (15), a student at secondary school in San Juan, was kidnapped while on his way to a shop in El Socorro at around 2:30pm when he was forced into a passing car. The kidnappers contacted the victim’s family and demanded a ransom of TT$300,000 (USD44,500). The victim’s family reported the kidnapping to the police who mounted an investigation and found the victim in an abandoned house in Laventille. Two men, including a relative of the victim and a gang member, were arrested.