Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton declared that a Saturday morning blast at a Minneapolis mosque was “an act of terrorism” Sunday.
The small blast broke a window and set an imam’s office on fire in the Dar Al Farooq mosque Saturday at around 5 a.m., the Star Tribune reported Sunday. None of the worshippers inside the building were injured. A slew of Minnesota politicians visited the Islamic center to condemn the attack Sunday morning, with Dayton staying for more than an hour.
“What a terrible, dastardly, cowardly, terrible act this was that was committed,” Dayton said in a news conference. “Anything I can do to put a stop to it, I would gladly do. All I can do in this situation is come here to express my solidarity, sympathy, and determination.”
An ongoing FBI investigation has yet to name a suspect or release any updates in the case beyond that an improvised explosive device thrown through an office window caused the damage. The FBI is offering a $24,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the culprit, NBC reported.
“The destruction done to this sacred site is just unthinkable, unforgivable. I hope and pray the perpetrator will be caught and prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Dayton said.
The mosque has been in Bloomington, Minn., for more than six years. Beyond serving as a place of worship for roughly 300 practitioners each Friday, the mosque serves as a community center for the local Islamic population, housing a gymnasium and a fitness center as well.
Local community members visited the mosque Sunday to express their support as well. People held signs, mets with practitioners, and left flowers. A GoFundMe page devoted to funding repairs for the building has already reached nearly $38,000.
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents a nearby Minnesota district, also visited the Islamic center.
“This is the right spirit and there is no better way to condemn the person who would throw a bomb into this mosque than to react in a loving, kind, inclusive way,” Ellison told the Star Tribune.
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