MINNEAPOLIS (CBSMiami) — A broken window is what remains of the damage after someone threw a bomb inside a mosque in a Minneapolis suburb Saturday, just before early morning prayers.
No one was injured but the incident, which is possibly a hate crime, has the Muslim community rattled.
“One of our congregation members came out immediately and he saw a truck fleeing from the parking lot, running at very high speed,” said Mohamed Omar, Executive Director of the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minnesota.
Witnesses say the device that exploded was thrown into the imam’s office just after 5 a.m. As many as 20 were people inside preparing for prayer. They were able to extinguish the flames before firefighters arrived.
ATF agents and the FBI are investigating and so far few details have been released.
Those affiliated with the mosque say it’s been the target of numerous hate messages, emails and calls, and say they believe this incident is a hate crime.
“Hate is not ok. We need a better America,” said Asad Zaman, Executive Director for the Muslim-American Society of Minnesota. “Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion is absolutely un-American.”
Interfaith leaders from the area gathered hours later to show their support.
“An attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue, is an attack on a church, it’s an attack on all faith communities,” said Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of Minnesota Council of Churches.
The mosque mostly serves people in the Somali community. A $10,000 reward is being offered to help catch the suspect.