JUNE 3, 2001
By MAURISA FINDLAY
OLIVE Enyahooma El says he is not afraid of any plan by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to extradite him to the United States for his perceived involvement in the arms deal unearthed by undercover agents of the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.
Enyahooma El, who was once known as Lance Small, was on Friday implicated in an illegal arms transaction to ship sophisticated arms and ammunition from Florida to Trinidad and Tobago.
Speaking to the Sunday Express in an exclusive interview at his Gonzales home yesterday, Enyahooma El said he would like the FBI to take him away to the US since he has been longing to visit his relatives domiciled there.
The 65-year old proprietor was relaxing among friends at the incomplete house he is constructing a short distance away from his home. He said he was not afraid for his life. The former insurrectionist said he was being targeted by the FBI as part of an ongoing assault on the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen.
He argued that he was an innocent man and did not play any role in the busted gun shipment. He mocked reports that he had negotiated the deal or that he was acquainted with international Islamic terrorist Osama Bin Laden. Bin Ladens money he opined, so big, a small purse of guns was of no use to him.
But Enyahooma El, casually dressed in track pants, polo T shirt and taj says he is not fearful of any US measures. As a practising Muslim and an active member of the Jamaat, he said he was not surprised by the accusations, trumped up or otherwise. Although he denied any involvement or knowledge of the transaction, Enyahooma El felt his name was also called in the plot because he is a well known friend of the Trinidadian man Keith Andre Glaude, who was arrested for the crime.
Glaude, Enyahooma El said is a good friend.
I know him well, he is my brother...
But their relationship, Enyahooma said, never involved a business transaction of any nature.
When Glaude visited Trinidad recently, Enyahooma El said, they met as old friends and discussed things happening in one anothers life.
He told me about his hustle. I told him about my struggles. That was it. Apart from regular exchanges, Enyahooma El said he asked Glaude during one of their regular interactions to assist, a brother who had telephoned him with a particular need. Although he preferred not to reveal the detail of the brothers need, Enyahooma El said he felt confident Glaude could have assisted.
We Muslims are bounded to help a brother no matter what part of the world he is in...I mention to Glaude while he was here that this brother called on me for assistance and asked him to hook with that brother.
Assuming the needful would have been done, Enyahooma El said he put Glaude out of his mind and went about his business which these days revolves around the completion of his two storey house.
News that he was part of the gun shipment plot, he said, however has left him unfazed.
I didnt even bother to read the newspaper because nothing there is true, Enyahooma El says, adding I know nothing about that matter. I never discussed anything like that with Glaude.
Laughing lightly, Enyahooma El, who described himself as a man with street degree, said he has no reason to believe that his old friend Glaude would have implicated him in the matter.
I have no proof that Glaude called my name so I refuse to believe what is being said.
He was certain the FBI would want to make out a case against him.
They know they will find a way to make their case stick, he said. Let them come with their proof, he calmly said, adding, I dont mind, is years I want to go and visit my family in the States, this might be the trip Ive been longing for.
A picture of El during the coup attempt in TT in 1990: