Sunday, August 6, 2017

USA: Minnesota mosque bombed during morning prayers


FBI launches investigation after bomb attack at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center damaged imam's office.

Times of Ahmad | News Watch | US Desk
Source/Credit: Al Jazeera
By Al Jazeera | August 5, 2017

A mosque in the US state of Minnesota was bombed early on Saturday, while worshippers gathered inside for morning prayers.

No one was injured in the attack at the Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, but police say the imam's office had been damaged.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has launched an investigation into the attack, which took place at around 5am local time (09:00 GMT).

Richard Thorton, the special agent in charge of the FBI's Minneapolis Division, said that the investigation will determine whether the incident was a hate crime and who may have been behind it.

Thorton added that the explosion was caused by an "improvised explosive device", and that investigators had recovered components of the device to figure out how it was put together.

'Unimaginable' attack

Worshippers managed to extinguish the blaze before firefighters arrived, according to a statement from the Muslim American Society of Minnesota.

The group's director, Asad Zaman, told reporters that "a witness saw something being thrown at the imam's office window from a van or truck before the blast".

Mohamed Omar, the mosque's executive director, added that the vehicle immediately sped away.

The predominantly Somali mosque, like many other mosques around the country, has received threatening calls and emails, Omar told local media.

"It was 5am. The whole neighbourhood was calm. People were supposed to be sleeping, that how peaceful this should be," he said.

"I was shocked to learn this happened".

Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshipper at the mosque, said the explosion was "unimaginable".

"We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship," Abdalrahman said.

"And that freedom is under threat. Every other American should be insulted by this."

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