BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) — The FBI is now working to find out who threw an explosive device into Minnesota’s largest mosque.
Now local lawmakers like Gov. Mark Dayton are condemning the violence.
“What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly, terrible act this was,” Dayton said.
The governor made that remark outside the Dar Al-Farooq Mosque Sunday morning. He along with other elected leaders gathered to see the damage caused when someone threw an improvised explosive device into the center.
There’s been an incredible outpouring of support for the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center. People of all faiths have condemned the explosion that seems to have targeted the mosque’s spiritual leader.
“The timing also was very strange as if he knew what he was doing,” Mosque staffer Abraham Yusuf said.
That fire bomb damaged the imam’s office just after 5 Saturday morning. The center’s executive director said the worship leader is typically in his office at that time. Shrapnel from the explosion caused damage throughout the room.
More than a dozen worshipers were praying across the hall and weren’t hurt.
The mosque’s executive director said he’ll do whatever he can to help the investigation.
“This is the third day of this incident. The FBI are coming and they’re asking more access to the surveillance cameras or asking more information about this, clarification or what are these times,” Mohamed Omar said.
Dayton and other elected officials condemned the attack Saturday. Meanwhile, several people showed their support with signs outside the mosque.
“I’m here to support the Muslim community, they’re neighbors of ours,” Donna Krisch said.
“This hurts me to know how that this is how we treat our neighbors, how we treat our fellow Minnesotans,” Alexis Lohse said.
“You should just treat other people how you want to be treated, you wouldn’t like it if you were doing something important to you and then someone just went there and interrupted it,” Emma Miller said.
Coming up this Tuesday, the community will have another opportunity to show their support for those affected by the explosion. There is an open invitation to stop by here from 6-8 tomorrow night for a solidarity event.
Authorities are looking for the public’s help. They’ve set up a tip line at 1-800-CALL-FBI.
So far, federal investigators have not classified this as a hate crime.
There is a $24,000 reward that’s being offered by several local Islamic organizations.