Two mosques in the Los Angeles County city of Hawthorne were vandalized in the early morning hours Sunday, local KTLA reports.
At one of the mosques, the vandals scrawled “Jesus is the way” in spray painted graffiti. At the other location, vandals left a fake grenade, forcing authorities to evacuate the surrounding area. Both incidents are being investigated as hate crimes.
Hawthorne is about an hour west of San Bernardino, where 14 people were killed in a terrorist attack earlier this month.
Hawthorne police told KTLA they received the call about the fake grenade at Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque. Aside from the fake grenade, someone spray painted the word “Jesus” across the mosque’s fence.
The second mosque, the Islamic Center of Hawthorne, had “Jesus is the way” spray painted on the front of the building.
The FBI is assisting Hawthorne police and L.A. County Sheriff’s detectives with the investigation.
“All evidence will be reviewed by state and federal prosecutors to determine whether a violation under federal civil rights statutes occurred,” an FBI spokesperson wrote in a statement to KTLA. “The FBI is committed to ensure law-abiding citizens are protected and to deter those who would threaten them.”