Note first that this jihadi’s explanation for his actions in becoming a terrorist begins and ends with Islam. He doesn’t talk about poverty or lack of opportunity. Then note his theological critique of Christianity: Muslims proselytize among young Christians worldwide using arguments like the ones below, and the various churches have nowhere bothered to help their youth formulate responses to these arguments. Finally, note that everything Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi says about how the Christians will be treated is based upon the Qur’an: “Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued” (Qur’an 9:29).
“Trini ISIS sniper: All Christians must die,” Daily Express, August 2, 2016:
ISLAMIC State’s most recent edition of its online propaganda magazine, which calls on Jihadists to destroy Christianity, features an extensive interview with a Trinidadian fighting with the terror group. He says Christians should die by the sword.
Named in the article as Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi, he said Christians are legitimate targets “due to their mere disbelief,” and “for this reason, amongst others, the Islamic State leadership emphasised the importance not to differentiate between disbelieving soldiers and their so-called ‘civilians.'”…
Dabiq: When did you become a Muslim and how did it happen?
Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: All praise is due to Allah. May blessings and peace be upon Allah’s Messenger.
I come from a family of Baptist Christians, so from a very young age they would send my cousin and me to Sunday school. There I would learn about the Bible, parts of which I even memorized, and also learn about the prophets. My journey towards Islam began when I was around 7 or 8 years old. My mother would take me to church on Sundays. While attending service one day as the members of the congregation were singing and dancing, I took a look around at the pictures they claimed to be of Jesus, angels, and others, as well as the crosses. I said to myself, “Something is wrong here,” because I remembered that the first two commandments were, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” and “Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image,” as I had been taught in Sunday school.
So this had an affect on me as well as the fact that I used to see the pastor – who was married with children – coming next door to commit adultery. I would wonder how this man could lead me when he himself didn’t follow the Bible. I told my mother that I didn’t want to go back to church, and I would pray on my own based on what I’d learned from the Bible. Years later, my grandmother bought me a silver chain with a cross pendant. When I would wear the chain I would think to myself, “This pendant is an idol.” So I took it off and kept the chain. My knowledge of only the first two commandments gave me the understanding that what they were practicing was not in line with the truth. At this point, I didn’t consider myself part of any of the Christian denominations, but that was as far as I got.
In school, I was exposed to all the various religions but I remained upon what I knew. When I was around twenty years old, I would come to accept the religion of truth, Islam. I was working at a call center and got to know a Muslim co-worker there. We happened to share many of the same worldly interests, and for this reason, I would spend much time with him. I used to ask him many questions about the religion. In our conversations I would ask him about the beliefs of Muslims, and would also ask him about Jesus and Muhammad, and everything he told me made sense to me and was in line with what I remembered of the first two commandments, so I quickly gravitated towards Islam and soon found myself debating Christians because I knew their beliefs were corrupt.
Sometimes, because I was drawn to Islam, when I saw him praying, I would pray like him, and when I did, I would feel very calm afterwards. I accompanied him to the Friday sermon a couple of times to see what it was about, and then became certain that this was the true religion – the religion of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. In the last conversation we had before I embraced Islam, I told him that I was planning on selling drugs to support my family. He said that this was wrong and that the ends don’t justify the kill people but I can’t sell drugs to feed my family?”
He then began explaining to me the ultimate purpose of jihad as well as enlightening me concerning some of the Muslims’ plights, and after the conversation, I was settled. So I declared the testimony of faith and became a Muslim.
Dabiq: How did you find the da’wah to jihad?
Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: There was a faction of Muslims in Trinidad that was known for “militancy.” Its members attempted to overthrow the disbelieving government but quickly surrendered, apostatized, and participated in the religion of democracy, demonstrating that they weren’t upon the correct methodology of West, the da’wah to jihad took hold of me through the lectures of Shaykh Anwar al-‘Awlaqi . After listening to his various lectures repeatedly, I gained a firmer understanding of what we as Muslims were supposed to be doing.
I listened to his lecture series titled “Constants on the Path of Jihad” and his lecture series on “The Book of Jihad.” By Allah’s grace, there was a man of sound knowledge who I was able to refer to and who would answer any questions I had. His name was Shaykh Ashmead Choate and he had studied hadith and graduated from one of the Islamic colleges in the Middle martyrdom fighting in Ramadi.
Dabiq: Tell us about your jihad endeavor in Trinidad and Tobago.
Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: I, along with my brothers in Christian paganism is widespread in Trinidad and Tobago Islam Abu ‘Abdillah (another convert from Christianity), Abu ‘Isa, and a number of other brothers from Trinidad that later made hijrah after us formed a group and would deal with some of the issues of the Muslims that people were afraid to deal with. One of our goals was to eventually make hijrah – when we had the ability to do so – and join the mujahidin striving to cleanse the Muslims’ usurped lands of all apostate regimes, and as a result, I would keep myself up to date on all the latest news around the Muslim world and the jihad fronts. We would weigh all of our options as we awaited our opportunity for hijrah. At the same time, we knew that we couldn’t just sit and dream while doing nothing, so whenever the disbelievers in Trinidad would kill or harm a Muslim, we would take revenge. We would work to accumulate money in order to buy weapons and ammo. Alhamdulillah, we were successful in many operations, and this was only by Allah’s grace.
Abu ‘Abdillah, my wife, and I were arrested at one point, but the police weren’t able to make a case against us. We were nonetheless charged for possessing guns and ammunition. They seized my computer and phones and found the videos, books, and lectures on jihad. The taghut government of Trinidad then plotted against us, claiming that we were planning on assassinating the prime minister and a number of other ministers in order to cause chaos and panic in the country. That would have been an honor for us to attempt, but the reality of our operations was much smaller, as I described before. We were imprisoned for terrorism along with some Muslims who merely knew us as well as others whom we had never even met before. Alhamdulillah, they planned and plotted but Allah is the best of planners. They were unable to make a case against us and we were freed, by Allah’s permission, and despite being placed under surveillance, we went back to doing what we knew we had to do, commanding the good and prohibiting the evil….
Dabiq: How did your family react when they found out you became a Muslim?Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: When I became a Muslim, my mother told me that she respected my decision.
Alhamdulillah, she too embraced Islam, a few years after me. She loved Islam so much that she would later say she wished that she had learned of Islam long before so she could have embraced it earlier. Alhamdulillah, one of my brothers also began practicing Islam. As for the rest of my family, I ask Allah to guide them.
Dabiq: How did your family react when they found out you became a soldier of the Islamic State?
Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: Some of my disbelieving Christian relatives have used the fact that I am a soldier of the Islamic State in their quarrels with others. They’ve said, for example, “My relative is an ISIS terrorist, so you better watch out!” Subhanallah, when it comes to the honor that Allah has granted the Caliphate, we even see many disbelievers recognizing it….
Dabiq: As a convert from Christianity, what message would you like to direct to Christians?Abu Sa’d at-Trinidadi: To the Christians I say, you know that you have strayed far away from the true teachings of Abraham, Moses, and Jesus. Your book was corrupted long ago by your leaders. I call on you to remember the first two commandments, for they are what led me to Islam and to the true teachings of all the prophets. Submit to the one who created you and do not differentiate between the prophets, for they all came with the same message. Follow the final messenger, Muhammad, for in doing so you will be following all of the prophets. If you refuse, then we offer you the option to pay jizyah and live under the authority of Islam in humiliation. If you refuse, then the only thing between you and us is the sword.