NATIONAL Security Minister Stuart Young has said that at international meetings he has to convince the agencies that local Muslims are not terrorists.
He was contributing to debate on the Bail (Amendment) Bill in the Senate on Tuesday.
The bill seeks to restrict bail for 120 days for those found in possession of illegal arms and ammunition.
Young said in his Port of Spain North/St Ann's West constituency, at the Housing Development Corporation plannings on St Francois Valley Road, Belmont, "God intervened and we recovered nine AR-15s (semi-automatic rifle)."
He reported the seizure in Four Roads, Diego Martin a few weeks later of eight AR-15s, again thanks to "God's intervention." He also reported that last week two individuals dressed in police uniforms in a vehicle with blue lights were in possession of Glock handgun and an AR-15 with two magazines.
"That is not someone...any civic-minded or right-minded or legal citizen of TT should want to see out on the road."
He said the national security ministry was trying to analyse and decipher where the AR-15s come from, who is in possession of them and for what purpose.
He reiterated the only reason someone has a gun is to kill someone and it is not a toy.
"These firearms have the ability to kill masses and multitudes of people. Unfortunately for us in TT it is a reality, and it has been a reality since 1990. Because I believe everybody sitting here today would have been aware of what happened in the House of Parliament in TT in 1990. And that changed the landscape of TT."
Young was referring to the six-day July 1990 attempted coup by the Islamic organisation Jamaat al Muslimeen which left 24 people dead and caused millions of dollars' worth of property damage.
"Every time I sit and meet with all of the international agencies and I have to explain what is it we face in TT and try to persuade their mind that our...Muslim brothers and sisters, society and TT are not terrorists, I tell them that what happened in 1990 in TT that changed the landscape – it was after that, that it changed the psyche of the people of TT."