Blast Reported at Minnesota Islamic Center

07 August, 2017, 00:52 | Author: Ora Austin
  • Bomb blast at mosque during prayers – FBI probe after 'device hurled through window'

Fire and smoke engulfed much of the red-brick structure, but there were no injuries. A large area outside the center was cordoned off as investigators, including members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, combed through the grass.

Police say they still haven't worked out the cause of the explosion at the imam's office in the Al-Farooq Youth and Family Center, or determined whether it was a hate crime.

Governor Mark Dayton said Saturday's explosion at an Islamic center in Bloomington was "an act of terror". "We're not only the Muslims who do have this message, but it is Muslims, Christians, Jews, people of faith all over, we believe that the values of our religion (are) totally, absolutely against what happened today".

"You search the wide area in an attempt to find as many components as you can of the device to help us understand how the device was made". He called on the community to unite against such attacks.

Anti-Muslim incidents have risen sharply in the United States over the past year, according to a review by the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

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"Our ultimate goal is to find eth folks who are responsible for this and hopefully provide some closure to the folks who were victimized by this this morning", said ATF special agent in charge Rick Thorton. Community members extinguished the fire before first responders arrived.

According to an analysis by the Council on American-Islamic Relations in May, 2,213 anti-Muslim bias incidents occurred in the United States a year ago, up 57 percent from 2015, according to Reuters.

"We came to this country for the same reason everyone else came here: freedom to worship", Yasir Abdalrahman, a worshipper at the mosque, told the newspaper.

"Every place of worship, for all Minnesotans of every faith and culture, must be sacred and safe". "A lot of the questions we've been receiving from the media thus far - is it a hate crime? We are in close contact with federal, state and local authorities and local community leaders as the investigation into this matter continues", the statement said. The Department of Homeland Security is also keeping an eye on the investigation.

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