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Islamophobia: Two Explosions Reported at Ohio Mosque

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  • Zafar Khan
    ABC News: Two Explosions Reported at Ohio Mosque http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=1428576 CINCINNATI Dec 21, 2005 — Two explosions caused minor exterior
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 22, 2005
      ABC News: Two Explosions Reported at Ohio Mosque


      CINCINNATI Dec 21, 2005 — Two explosions caused minor
      exterior damage at a mosque complex about two hours
      after evening prayers, and federal agents joined the

      No injuries were reported and police hadn't found any
      witnesses to the Tuesday night explosions at the
      Islamic Association of Cincinnati mosque, police Capt.
      Gene Hamann said.

      The FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco,
      Firearms and Explosives were involved in the case,
      joining Cincinnati and State Highway Patrol state
      investigators, FBI Special agent Mike Brooks said.

      Brooks confirmed Wednesday morning there were two
      explosions, one at each of two adjoining buildings
      owned by the association.

      "As of right now, we can't make any comment on the
      size or the type of explosive," Brooks said. He also
      said authorities wouldn't speculate on why the
      buildings, both used as mosques, were targeted.

      One explosion damaged an overhead glass panel in a
      front entryway at the mosque, and the other damaged a
      door on a porch at an adjacent house.

      There was no immediate comment Wednesday from the
      Islamic Association of Cincinnati, where a telephone
      rang busy.

      The mosque is about a mile from the University of
      Cincinnati campus and near several churches and Hebrew
      Union College.

      About 300 to 500 people worship at the mosque on a
      typical Friday, said Karen Dabdoub, director of the
      Council on American-Islamic Relations in Cincinnati.

      "This is very disturbing," she said. "And not only for
      this mosque and our community, but for the Islamic
      community in and around greater Cincinnati."

      Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights
      reserved. This material may not be published,
      broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

      Mosque bombing condemned
      By William A. Weathers and Eileen Kelley
      Enquirer staff writers


      CLIFTON – More than two dozen religious leaders and
      public officials gathered at the Islamic Association
      of Cincinnati Mosque this morning to condemn the
      Tuesday night bombing of the group’s buildings.

      The religious leaders called the incident a despicable
      hate crime that will not be tolerated in the Greater
      Cincinnati area.

      “What happened here last night was wrong, hateful and
      evil,’’ said Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk.

      Rabbi Abie I. Ingber, president of the Greater
      Cincinnati Board of Rabbis, called the bombing
      incident “a deplorable act toward everyone” in the
      Greater Cincinnati community.

      “The Muslim community is deeply concerned about this
      event and we are hoping that it can be quickly
      determined who committed the crime,’’ Dr. Inayat
      Malik, president of the Islamic Educational Council,
      said in a statement.

      Stanley Borgia, special agent in charge of the
      Cincinnati FBI office, said the investigation has not
      yet determined a motive for “the crime of violence
      against the Islamic Center. The intent of perpetrators
      is unclear,’’ he said

      No one has claimed responsibility for the bombing,
      which is being investigated as a possible hate crime
      or act of terrorism, Borgia said.

      “This is a hateful act whether it’s classified as a
      hate crime or not,’’ said Mayor Mark Mallory. ” This
      kind of criminal act cannot be tolerated in this

      Police Chief Tom Streicher said, “We will not stop
      until the people are identified and brought to

      There were two explosive devices that detonated
      outside in the doorways of two adjacent buildings of
      the Islamic Center Tuesday night, Borgia said.

      “We’re analyzing the bomb devices,’’ he said.

      The bomb blasts damaged the wooden door and
      surrounding glass windows in the older building and
      blew out glass windows in the newer building. The
      ceiling area of the entranceways of both buildings
      were also damaged.

      The explosion happened about 10:10 p.m. Tuesday,
      police said.

      No one was injured. An evening prayer service had
      ended about 8 p.m., and the buildings were closed.

      The Islamic Association has two building at the site –
      one is a two-story brick house and the other an
      attached worship center that opened about two years
      ago. The older building formerly served as the mosque.

      Cincinnati police and fire officials, along with the
      FBI and federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms
      and Explosives, are investigating the incident.

      Anyone with information of the incident is asked to
      call crime Stoppers at (513) 352-3040 or the FBI at
      (513) 421-4310.

      Islamic center officials said daily prayer services
      and other activities at the mosque will continue, but
      there will be increased security, center officials
      said. They declined to provide details.

      As many as 400 families worship at the mosque.

      This morning’s press conference was organized by the
      Ohio chapter of the Council on American-Islamic

      CAIR, America’s largest Muslim civil liberties group,
      has 31 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada.

      Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam,
      encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower
      American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote
      justice and mutual understanding.

      E-mail bweathers@...

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