Local police were called to cordon off the area and told ABC News they were acting on instructions from the FBI. Mosque president Dr. Mansoor Farooqi signed a document on a clipboard handed to him by agents, apparently authorizing the FBI search.
Four agents, wearing blue gloves, then began to search through a trash bin outside the mosque. An ABC News reporter saw agents empty the trash bin on the ground, sort through various odds and ends, remove their gloves, and then put everything back into the receptacle. They did not enter the mosque itself.
Farooqi seemed upset about the presence of the FBI agents and told ABC News, "I humbly ask you to leave or I will have to call the police." Farooqi had been escorted by an Army officer to the scheduled memorial services at Fort Hood for the victims of last week's shooting, but had to return to the mosque to sign the document.
The FBI would not discuss what the agents might have been looking for at the mosque a full five days after the shooting. "The FBI cannot comment," said Eric Vasys, a spokesperson at the FBI San Antonio office.
Officials have indicated that the Army will lead the investigation of the deadly attack but the FBI is providing back-up and expertise in the case.
Farooqi and other Muslim leaders in Killeen strongly condemned the shooting as a "cowardly attack" that cannot be justified or excused by any "religious or political ideology."
"The attack was particularly heinous in that it targeted the all-volunteer Army that protects our nation," mosque leaders said in a statement.