FBI investigating explosion at Bloomington mosque

Nobody was injured in the blast at Dar Al-Farooq center.
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An explosion was reported at a mosque in Bloomington Saturday morning.

Bloomington PD tweeted just before 9 a.m. about the blast at 8201 Park Ave. Nobody was injured, and the cause was still being determined.

At that address is the Dar Al-Farooq Youth and Family Center, an Islamic mosque in the city. 

The police department says its preliminary investigation indicates the explosion "was caused by a destructive device in violation of federal law."

Police say they are assisting the FBI, which is now leading the investigation, and ATF agents are on the scene as well.

Imam says it was a small bomb

Waleed Al Meneese, who identifies himself as chief imam at the mosque, said in a Facebook post that someone threw a small explosive through his office window at dawn.

He explained authorities are searching for any more possible explosives on the site, adding (via Facebook's translation), "Thank God I wasn't in the office and no one was in it and no one was hurt."

The Muslim American Society of Minnesota is offering a $10,000 reward for information leading to a the arrest and conviction in the case.

The Society's executive director, Asad Zaman, told WCCO it was a fire bomb that was thrown into the building and said one of the worshippers saw a truck speeding away from the scene after the blast. 

Zaman says in a Reuters video posted by the Washington Post that Dar Al-Farooq has received a lot of hate messages. 

Bloomington PD asks anyone with information about the explosion to call them at 952-563-4900.

Faith leaders denounce the bombing

Spiritual leaders of various faiths came together to denounce the apparent bombing. 

Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, said "An attack on a mosque is an attack on a synagogue, an attack on a church, it's an attack on all faith communities, so we stand with you, a million protestants in Minnesota," KARE 11 reports

Zaman of the Muslim American Society of Minnesota added "We need a better America," FOX 9 says. "We need an America where people are safe with their neighbors. Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion is absolutely and completely un-American."

Anti-Islamic hate crimes have tracked upward

Muslims make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population, with an estimated 3.3 million people, Pew Research has found.

Americans generally feel more warmly toward Muslims than just a few years ago – but Americans' perception of them as a religious group is still worse than other major religions, and even atheists, Pew Research has found.

FBI figures have shown anti-Islamic hate crimes have tracked upward in recent years. Hate crimes against Jewish people and members of the LGBTQ community also have risen.

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