Federal investigators are in Bloomington Saturday after a reported explosion at an Muslim community center.
Bloomington police say the explosion was reported at about 5:05 a.m. at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center on the 8200 block of Park Avenue South.
The FBI took over the investigation by early Saturday afternoon, and said in a statement that the explosion was “caused by a destructive device in violation of federal law.”
Asad Zaman, the executive director of Muslim American Sociey of Minnesota, says a device was thrown inside as people were preparing for morning prayer.The building sustained fire and smoke damage, but there were no injuries.
A worshiper saw someone standing by the outside window of the center’s imam before the explosion, and then saw a truck speeding away from the scene before smoke starting pouring out from the window.
Worshipers extinguished the fire before first repsonders arrived.
The Muslim American Society of Minnesota and the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations are each offering a $10,000 reward for information about this crime, bringing the reward total to $20,000.
“We hope a reward will help law enforcement authorities quickly apprehend the perpetrator of this act of violence targeting an American house of worship,” said CAIR-MN Civil Rights Director Amir Malik. “If a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI, then select option number one.
Minnesota Senator Al Franken reacted to the explosion on Twitter Saturday afternoon.