'Hate crime or act of terror?’ FBI probes IED bombing attack on Minnesota mosque
The explosion from the homemade bomb happened at the Imam’s office around 5:05am, immediately after the morning prayer had begun. Dozens of people were inside Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center when the blast went off.
From #FBIMinneapolis: IED caused explosion at the Dar Al Farooq Community Center this morning.— FBI Minneapolis (@FBIMinneapolis) August 5, 2017
“Someone threw an explosive device and started a fire in the office of the Imam and President of the mosque,” the Muslim American Society of Minnesota said in a statement. “The attendees put out the fire.”
A witness allegedly saw a projectile being thrown at the building from a “van or truck”.
No one was injured, but the blast did knock out some windows and damaged the furniture inside the building.
Cont: Officers & BFD arrived and found some damage to the building & nobody injured. pic.twitter.com/2e0klfis8c— Bloomington Police (@BPD_MN) August 5, 2017
The FBI has taken over the investigation of the explosion from Bloomington police. The Department of Homeland Security is also keeping an eye on the investigation.
“It was an improvised explosive device that was set off early this morning,” Rick Thornton, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the investigation, told reporters Saturday afternoon.
“At this point, our focus is to determine who and why,” Thornton said, according to the Washington Post. “Is it a hate crime? Is it an act of terror?… Again, that’s what the investigation is going to determine.”
Local religious leaders and politicians have condemned the attack as the investigation continues and the attacker or attackers remains at large. The Muslim American Society has offered a reward of $10,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible.