BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (WCCO) – WCCO-TV has obtained surveillance video showing the inside of a Twin Cities mosque during a firebomb attack.
The attack happened in the early-morning hours of Aug. 5 as worshippers gathered for prayers at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington.
Despite a highly-publicized FBI investigation, no arrests have been made.
For Muslims who worship at the south metro mosque, there is fear the bomber could return.
The surveillance video shows the taillights of a truck speed by the front entrance of the mosque.
Seconds later, a worshipper runs in, yelling for help. Another angle shows him running down a hallway, where another worshipper runs toward him and there is an explosion.
Mohamed Omar, the executive director of the mosque, was there that morning. He called the attack “horrific.”
“You can see the cameras shaking and the whole building shook,” he said.
Omar spoke to the first worshipper who came running in for help.
“He saw this truck coming and stopped next to the window and a gentleman came out, break the window and threw something inside,” Omar said.
Other cameras inside the mosque capture other worshippers startled by the blast.
The FBI set up a special command post for tips, but there have yet to be any arrests.
Omar says he is showing the surveillance video to the media because the investigation is taking too long.
Mosque leaders also say they want people to see what it was like when the bomb went off to counter rumors that somehow this was staged or not a serious incident.
“We are asking people to share in our pain, to see what we went through,” Omar said. “This is the actual footage when the bomb went off.”
The bomb shredded the imam’s office, and left cracks in the cement walls that still can be seen.
“The power and the magnitude of this bomb was so intense,” Omar said.
No one was injured in the blast.
Many at the mosque believe the bomber’s ability to target the imam’s office indicates he had been at the mosque before – and that he could be back.
“We are asking anyone with any information to come forward and help law enforcement,” Omar said.
If you have any information about the bombing, call the FBI at 1-800-225-5324.
It’s offering a $30,000 reward for tips leading to an arrest. Muslim advocacy groups are also offering another $24,000 in rewards.
Special Agent Jeff Van Nest told WCCO the FBI is continuing to “aggressively investigate” the bombing, but he declined to comment further. The bureau is still offering a $30,000 reward for information on the attack.