Yasin Abu Bakr
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Yasin Abu Bakr (born Lennox Philip) is the leader of the Jamaat al Muslimeen, a Muslim group in Trinidad and Tobago. The group is rumored to have long-standing links with Libyan leader Muammar al-Gaddafi. Under the leadership of Abu Bakr and Bilaal Abdullah, the group staged an attempted coup d’état in 1990.
Abu Bakr is well connected in the political and legal arenas in Trinidad and Tobago.
In this interview, Abu Bakr, describes the intent behind the coup d'état.
On 4 December 2006, he was found not-guilty for conspiring to murder two expelled Jamaat al Muslimeen members, Salim Rasheed and Adel Ghany. Deadbwoy, a friend of Rasheed and Ghany, killed them both. Justice Mustapha Ibrahim ruled that the evidence of the prosecution was "very weak, and so manifestly unreliable, and so discredited as a result of cross-examination, that no reasonable tribunal—none whatever—could safely convict on it." The jurors soon returned a not-guilty verdict. On 5 December 2006, key witness, Brent “Small Brent” Danglade, was charged with perjury. He had refused to testify on the witness stand.
In his Eid ul-Fitr message delivered on 3 November 2005 Abu Bakr threatened “war” against Muslims who did not pay zakaat next year. The statement was generally interpreted as a demand that the tax be paid to the Jamaat al Muslimeen. On November 8 Abu Bakr was arrested and charged with three counts of inciting extortion and one for sedition. The Jamaat al Muslimeen headquarters were occupied by the Army on 10 November and Abu Bakr’s office was demolished in a search for weapons and ammunition after metal detectors discovered objects below the building. A high-powered rifle, a hand grenade, walkie talkies and 700 rounds of ammunition were seized.
Murder of Naipul-Coolman
As of March 2007, three members rumored to be part of Abu Bakr’s organization, the Jamaat al Muslimeen, have confessed to their role in the kidnapping, rape, murder and dismemberment of local businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman. They have since been acquitted. Newsday article here
On 24 July 2015 they escaped and commenced in a shootout in the Country's capital Port of Spain and the Port of Spain General Hospital putting the capital on a lock-down and causing the twin islands to be on high alert. Police Constable Sherman Maynard was killed during the shoot-out.
- Angela Potter, "Trinidad Muslims Being Closely Monitored", Associated Press, 1 November 2001.
- Robin Walker, "Profile: Jamaat al Muslimeen", BBC News, 3 June 2007.