Video footage showing two men burglarizing a Bloomington mosque while wearing ape masks has been released by police.
Bloomington PD published surveillance footage Tuesday showing two costumed suspects inside the Dar Al Farooq mosque between 2 and 3 a.m. on Friday.
The surveillance video from inside the mosque – which was the target of a bombing in early August – shows the two masked intruders with some type of duffel bag, trying to carry out a heavy object.
Here's the video:
Police want the public to focus on what the culprits are wearing, as well as the "distinctive walk" of the larger suspect, in hopes it will lead to more information about the crime.
The men walked around the Islamic center breaking windows as well, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations of Minnesota (CAIR-MN).
There's no indication it was motivated by hate or bias
Police said the main motive for the burglary appears to be theft.
They also said that, at this time, there isn't any evidence the crime was motivated by an anti-Islamic bias, or that it was a hate crime.
They were just trying to steal stuff, essentially, and police said they're working on compiling a list of what was taken from the mosque.
Bloomington police are actively investigating and trying to identify the suspects. Anyone who has any information is asked to call the PD at 952-563-4900.
What constitutes a hate crime?
For something to be considered a hate crime, the offense has to be motivated (either fully or in part) by a certain bias, the FBI says.
That could mean someone's religion, for example. It could also mean race, a disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity were motivating factors.
Muslims make up about 1 percent of the U.S. population, with an estimated 3.3 million people, 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.
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.