THE American Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) has been called in to assist police in their investigations into the discovery on Thursday of a cache of weapons including a US-made AR 15 assault rifle hidden in the ceiling of the Masjid-Ul-Muttaqeen mosque in Cunupia.
Investigators said the two pistols, AR 15 rifle and two shotguns have been sent to the Special Evidence Recovery Unit (SERU) in Cumuto for ballistic tests. The serial numbers on the weapons are to be sent to the United States for tracing. Police sources confirmed that FBI operatives are liaising with investigators on the case.
The AR 15 is a US military grade weapon so there would be a concern by the FBI as to how one found its way in Trinidad. Officers praised the mosque’s Maulana and Imam for immediately contacting the police when discovery of the arms and ammunition was made.
Sources said there are no surveillance cameras inside the mosque but CCTV cameras are outfitted outside the compound.
Discovery of the guns was one of the main points raised by Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley during a PNM rally on Thursday in Barataria.
Rowley said that in the run up to Carnival, his government received flak for raids carried out at several mosques following intel that certain people were bent on a public disruption of Carnival. And lo and behold, look at what was found in a place of worship, Rowley said.
Police investigators said while no arrests were made the investigation is ongoing and they are hoping to secure useful information which may lead to people being detained and charged.