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Molotov Cocktail Thrown Into Citizenship Office Doesn't Ignite

No one is hurt in Florida attack
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 31, 2019 8:31 AM CDT
New naturalized citizens take turns posing in front of a small Statue of Liberty after a ceremony at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services field office this month in Miami.   (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

(Newser) – A woman tossed a lit Molotov cocktail into the lobby of a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office in Oakland Park, Florida. But no injuries were reported, according to a report of the incident sent to administration officials and viewed by the AP. The woman walked into the office Friday afternoon and hurled a bottle filled with gasoline and a lit fuse. But the fuse disconnected from the bottle and didn't ignite, according to the report. Law enforcement officials believe she intended to cause harm, but the attack wasn't related to other incidents where Homeland Security agencies were targeted. Concern has been growing among federal investigators about attacks on immigration agencies during a time of heightened emotion and scrutiny.

A Homeland Security official condemned the attack. Citizenship and Immigration Services handles legal immigration, and the agency has been in the spotlight recently. It is run by Acting Director Ken Cuccinelli, a supporter of President Trump's hardline immigration policies who has presided over major changes that have prompted criticism from immigrant advocates. One change could deny green cards to many migrants who use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers or other forms of public assistance. Cuccinelli also defended changes to a longstanding agreement that governs how children cared for in government custody and how long they can be detained. It wasn't clear what prompted the woman to launch the bottle. Security officers subdued her until she could be taken into custody by Federal Protective Service officers, who arrested her. No one was injured, though one person reported feeling ill from the smell of gasoline, and the offices were closed.

(Read more Citizenship and Immigration Services stories.)

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