Blast damages Minnesota mosque

Posted August 06, 2017

Authorities say the explosion damaged one room but it didn't hurt anyone.

No one was injured in the blast at Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., which took place as a small number of worshipers gathered shortly after 5 a.m. Mohamed Omar, the center's executive director, said in an interview that he was inside the mosque preparing for morning prayers when he felt a "huge explosion" that quickly caused smoke and flames.

Police are investigating an explosion at an Islamic center in Bloomington, Minnesota, which the Muslim American Society of Minnesota says was the result of a bomb being tossed into the building.

Bloomington police said in a tweet Saturday evening that a preparatory examination "demonstrates the blast was caused by a damaging gadget infringing upon government law". The FBI, Joint Terrorism Task Force and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are investigating. CAIR said in a report last month that anti-Muslim hate crimes in the United States almost doubled in the first half of this year over the same period in 2016.

"We love our Muslim neighbors", Simon Trautmann, a city advisor, said at a news gathering.

Several people from other local faith groups spoke at a press conference Saturday at noon to show their support for Dar Al-farooq.

"An assault on any of a position of love is an assault on all spots of love", Arthur Murray, the minister of a Bloomington church, included.

He said the mosque, which primarily serves people from the area's large Somali community, occasionally receives threatening calls and emails.

"People talking about us, telling us, accusing us that we shouldn't be here, that we are like a burden to the community or we are like harming it", Mr. Omar said.

Asad Zaman, director of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota, says the organization is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

A blast shook a rural Minneapolis mosque early Saturday morning, specialists said.

The inside has gotten undermining telephone calls and messages before, Omar told the Star Tribune. "I have a daughter that usually lives with me, and to wake up to all this, it's like, what the hell, this shouldn't be happening right at our doorstep".