Attorney Nafeesa Mohammed told Newsday yesterday she believes that once the new Government intervenes, they would be able to assist in his release. She has sought the assistance of the former People’s Partnership administration and she will continue to seek the help of the new one, she said. At present, the whereabouts of Tariq, who had returned to Saudi Arabia with his wife and 16 month-oldson to complete his final year studies at the University of Madinah, she said, was not known.
His wife, Saudah Ali, she said, could not travel about freely on her own to look for him, or make enquiries because of her female status. “She is there in Madinah, and she cannot say where her husband is,” Mohammed said.
He was initially detained at Buraida Central Prison in Qaseem, Saudi Arabia. Nafeesa Mohammed said, she is of the view that Tariq’s credentials came under scrutiny when he returned to Trinidad in May this year, as was his custom each year. On his return at the Piarco International Airport, she said, “Our intelligence saw it fit to question him” when they saw where he was coming from. He was detained and questioned by two Special Branch officers.
She said they questioned him about terrorist activities, which he said he knew nothing about.
She declared, “He is no way connected to ISIS, or terrorist activities.
He is a humble, well-respected member of the El Socorro Muslim community.” The Strategic Services Agencies, she said, needs to clear up this mystery. Tariq, his wife and son left Trinidad on August 18. On arrival in London, England, both adults were questioned and detained briefly under Section 7 of the terrorism act. After several checks, they were allowed to board their flight to Istanbul, Turkey.
On arrival in Saudi Arabia the couple was detained for several hours, searched and all their personal belongings, including cash taken away from them.
Tariq’s wife and son were allowed to return to their apartment and provided with a new cellphone, but no information was given as to why Tariq was being detained.
The cash has not been returned.