Explosion Rocks Minn. Mosque During Early Morning Prayer

No one was injured, but an office was heavily damaged
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 5, 2017 4:06 PM CDT
People make phone calls as law enforcement investigate an explosion at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., on Saturday, Aug. 5, 2017.   (David Joles/Star Tribune via AP)
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(Newser) – The FBI and ATF are investigating after a "destructive device" blew out windows and damaged an imam's office early Saturday at a mosque outside Minneapolis, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. According to Fox 9, a device was thrown into the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington shortly after 5am—about five minutes into the early morning prayer—and exploded, setting fire to an office. Asad Zaman, director of the local Muslim American Society, says there were about a dozen people inside the mosque at the time. No one was injured, NBC News reports. Mohamed Omar, executive director of the Islamic center, says witnesses saw a pickup truck drive away after the device was thrown.

Omar says the mosque has gotten threatening emails and phone calls recently. "Hate is not OK," Zaman says."Targeting people because of their race, ethnicity, or religion is absolutely un-American." The Muslim American Society and Council on American-Islamic Relations are each offering $10,000 rewards for information leading to an arrest. A Bloomington city counselor calls the incident an "attack on our community." And a local church pastor adds: "An attack on any of a place of worship is an attack on all places of worship." Police have not yet called the attack a hate crime. (Read more mosque stories.)

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