The Overseas Security Advisory Council, OSAC, says Jamaica is an attractive target for potential terrorist activity.
The OSAC, which falls within the purview of the US State Department, came to that conclusion as part of its 2019 report on Crime in Jamaica.
The OSAC report that was released yesterday also says violent crime and sexual assault remain a serious risk throughout Jamaica.
The OSAC says Jamaica faces a moderate risk of suffering from a terrorist attack.
It says while there does not appear to be any extremist groups active in the country, it suffers from lax immigration controls, porous borders and high availability of illegal weapons.
The OSAC says there’s also sufficient ease with which to obtain fraudulent travel documents.
These factors according to the Council, make the country an attractive target for potential terrorists.
The OSAC also says Jamaica has an equally moderate risk of suffering from political violence.
It says despite Jamaica’s stable political system and history of peaceful transfers of power, the country’s historic economic challenges and consistently high murder rate exacerbate social tensions and are the subject of intense political debate.
The Council says serious risks are posed by crime in Kingston, with violent crime, including sexual assault, being a serious problem throughout Jamaica, particularly in the country’s capital and Montego Bay.
The OSAC also made note of what it describes as the insufficient funding and resource constraints affecting the Jamaica Constabulary Force as well as what it deems to be the “very low salaries” of government officials.
The Council says despite the creation of the Independent Commission of Investigations, INDECOM, in 2010, police corruption and involvement in criminal activity still occur.
It says most civilians fear that the authorities cannot protect them from organized criminal elements because they suspect the authorities are colluding with criminals, leading them to avoid giving evidence or witness testimony.