Published: Mon, August 07, 2017
World Media | By Joan Schultz

Investigation ongoing into mosque blast

Investigation ongoing into mosque blast

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

Just after 5 a.m. Saturday, with some congregants gathered for morning prayers elsewhere in the building, the explosive went off.

Imam Waleed Meneese at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center speaks to media on the day after an explosion in his office.

One room was damaged and the mosque flooded with smoke, but the fire was put out before first responders arrived.

"Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion is absolutely un-American", said Muslim-American Society of Minnesota Executive Director Asad Zaman.

Mohamed said he believed whoever threw the IED device knew that the iman worked in the office in the mornings and specifically targeted him, saying the attacker must have been familiar with the imam's office location and the mosque's schedule.

Law enforcement authorities did not say whether they were investigating the mosque explosion as a hate crime.

"And that freedom is under threat".

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Federal Bureau of Investigation officials in Minneapolis are investigating the incident and declined to provide further details on Sunday.

On May 9, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said in a report that the number of anti-Muslim bias incidents in the USA saw a 57% rise in 2016, attributing it, in part, to Donald Trump's rhetoric against Muslims and immigrants during his presidential campaign in 2016.

At a news conference, Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said an "improvised explosive device" caused the blast, but that investigators still must determine "who and why".

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

CAIR's local chapter says its national office is urging Islamic centers and places of worship to step up security.

Last week, CAIR-MN called on law enforcement authorities, including the FBI, to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism targeting the Muslim Cemetery Al Magfirah in Castle Rock Township.

The mosque mostly serves people in the Somali community.

It reported that the number of organisations opposing Muslims "leaped" from 34 in 2015 to 101 previous year. The organization announced a reward of 10 thousand dollars for information that could lead to the arrest of the persons involved in the bombing. Though no suspects have been identified and no motive has been verified, it strongly appears to be a crime committed by some Muslim haters who have stepped over the line from just being "haters" to being terrorists.

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