The FBI is searching for a suspect who threw a homemade fire bomb into Minnesota’s largest mosque. It detonated as nearly two dozen people prayed down the hall, as reported by CBS Minnesota.
Some employees believe the attack was an assassination attempt on the mosque’s imam, as the bomb was thrown into his office during a time, early Saturday morning, when he is usually working.
“The timing also was very strange as if he knew what he was doing,” Dar Al-Farooq Mosque staffer Abraham Yusuf told reporters.
Luckily, nobody was injured as the imam was not in his office and worshippers were too far from the blast to be hurt.
The FBI has referred to the bomb “an improvised explosive device,” otherwise known as an IED. Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton spoke to reporters about the incident, as noted by StarTribune.
“The post-blast environment is very detailed,” he said of the imam’s office, which was covered in destructive shrapnel after the explosion. “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. That process is substantially complete.”
Federal investigators, however, have yet to classify this as a hate crime, though Indiana Governor Mark Dayton stood outside of the victimized mosque and issued a harsh rebuke against the suspect.
“What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly, terrible act this was,” he said. “Every place of worship, for all Minnesotans of every faith and culture, must be sacred and safe.”
Mohamed Omar, the center’s executive director, told police that one worshipper saw a pickup truck speed out of the parking lot as the bomb went off.
If you have any information on this case, the FBI would like you to leave a tip at 1-800-CALL-FBI. There is a $24,000 reward that’s being offered by several local Islamic organizations.
The mosque has set up a GoFundMe to help with repairs.
[Featured Image: YouTube/screenshot]