The raid on the Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen Mosque in Cunupia during Carnival did not produce any results.
Police were looking for arms and ammunition following intelligence reports that persons were attempting to disrupt Carnival 2018. Thirteen persons were detained during the searches throughout the country, but only two were charged with minor offences.
Was this mosque under the police radar after that? The answer is no. So it came as a big surprise on Thursday when workmen found five guns and ammunition in the roof of the ladies section of the mosque.
Intelligence reports stated that these guns and ammunition have been in the roof for more than six months so how come the police did not find the weapons during Carnival?
The leaders of the Masjid have already stated that there is no security there, and that people come and go to conduct business and offer prayers. This is something hard to believe as the leaders are using Ramadan to make their point.
One member of the mosque said, “I am so ashamed now that I am not going back there. I see for myself the kind of persons who come and mingle on this compound. I am not sure they are even Muslims, but we welcome all. One of those persons who came here was killed in Enterprise some time ago. When would all this violence end?”
Have the authorities maintained their intelligence since Carnival? Are they taking the Carnival threat serious?
Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley, who is chairman of the National Security Council, is totally clueless about these persons who have foreign links.
He said the raids on mosques over the Carnival period were justified.
Rowley said when the security forces raided the mosques prior to Carnival, “there were those who told the country the Government is anti-Muslim, anti-this and telling the international community how the Government capriciously was doing this and doing that to places of worship.
“Today, one of the very mosques we had to raid at Carnival time, on credible information that the security services had, we have found within that place of worship lethal weapons, arms and ammunition.” (Security services did not find the weapons PM. They were found by workmen following which the police were called).
Rowley wondered what those who had carried a conversation that the Government was anti-Muslim and we were, in fact, desecrating places of worship would say.
Rowley said the message which they had sent to the population was that “if you know there are arms and ammunition finding their way into places of worship, whether is Baptist, Orisha, Hindu or Muslim, the police must not act because if the police act those loudmouths with their own personal agenda will stir up racial strife.”
He told the Muslim community and especially the leaders in the Muslim community: “None of us have anything to gain by encouraging that kind of development.”
Rowley added, “It is important that we tell our young people who may be wanting to go down that road there is nothing but sadness and sorrow at the end of that pathway.”
The Imam of the Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen said those responsible for hiding high-powered guns and ammunition at the mosque must stay away.
Saeed Ali added, “Take it elsewhere, don’t bring it to the mosque.
“Everybody is willing to attend prayer here at this mosque but whoever wants to be involved with this kind of illegal act do not make us part of that.
“This is a place to pray and worship, let it remain like that. Don’t bring it to the mosque. We have a 24/7 hour policy here and we do not want to be forced to lock our doors,.”
On Thursday around 8.30 am, workers conducting maintenance works found several garbage bags stashed away in the ceiling of the toilet in the ladies section of the mosque.
In the bags were an AK-47 assault rifle, two Beretta pistols, two pump action shotguns, a quantity of assorted ammunition, a ski mask and a firearm holster.
Along with the guns, were 23 rounds of 7.62mm ammunition, 15 rounds of 9mm ammunition, 16 rounds of .40mm ammunition and 15 12-gauge cartridges.
No arrests were made in connection with the discovery and investigations are continuing. Will anybody be arrested for this? Only time will tell!!!
The Masjid-ul-Muttaqeen Mosque in Cunupia