Minn. gov­er­nor: At­tack on mosque ‘wretched’

FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion of the Satur­day bomb­ing con­tin­ues.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Rochelle Olson Star Tri­bune

Gov. Mark Day­ton vis­its mosque where bomb shat­tered win­dows as peo­ple gath­ered for prayers.

Min­nesota Gov. Mark Day­ton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith vis­ited the Dar Al Fa­rooq Is­lamic cen­ter in Bloomington Sun­day morn­ing, the day after a bomb rocked the build­ing.

Day­ton de­scribed the in­ci­dent as “so wretched. Not Min­nesota.”

An FBI in­ves­ti­ga­tion into an “in­cen­di­ary ex­plo­sive de­vice” used at the Is­lamic cen­ter con­tin­ued Sun­day.

No one was hurt in the ex­plo­sion, which heav­ily dam­aged an imam’s of­fice at the cen­ter and sent smoke through the large build­ing. Win­dows in the of­fice were shat­tered, ei­ther by the

blast or by an ob­ject thrown through them.

The blast was re­ported at 5:05 a.m. Satur­day as about

a dozen peo­ple gath­ered in a room nearby for morn­ing prayers, and jolted awake

many res­i­dents of the neigh­bor­hood.

Con­gre­gants and neigh- bors ex­pressed re­lief that there were no in­juries, but also re­acted with shock and dis­may.

When po­lice ar­rived, they found smoke and fire dam­age to the build­ing, said Bloomington Po­lice Chief Jeff Potts. Agents from the FBI and the fed­eral Bureau of Al­co­hol, Tobacco, Firearms and Ex­plo­sives soon joined the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Wit­nesses have been in­ter­viewed, ev­i­dence has been sent to var­i­ous labs, and video and cell­phone data are be­ing an­a­lyzed, the FBI said.

Even be­fore the FBI up­date, con­gre­gants said the blast ap­peared to be a hate crime.

Mo­hamed Omar, the cen­ter’s ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor, who was in the build­ing when the ex­plo­sion oc­curred, said one wor­shiper saw a pickup truck speed out of the park­ing lot after the blast.

On Sun­day, the Coun­cil on Amer­i­can-Is­lamic Re­la­tions re­ported that “Is­lam­o­pho­bic trolls” had flooded its Face­book page with mes­sages sup­port­ing the bomb­ing. The group’s web­site posted screen images of some of the mes­sages.

COURTNEY PEDROZA / STAR TRI­BUNE

Min­nesota Gov. Mark Day­ton vis­its the Dar Al Fa­rooq Is­lamic Cen­ter in Bloomington on Sun­day. An ex­plo­sion there Satur­day dam­aged a room and shat­tered win­dows.

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