Investigators in Colorado searched on Monday for a man suspected of hurling a “biblical text” inside a mosque after smashing windows and a glass door of the Islamic center and overturning furniture inside, police said.
The Fort Collins Police Department said in a statement that the weekend incident was being investigated as a bias-motivated crime.
Police said the suspect, in his late teens or early 20s, carried out the vandalism at the Fort Collins Islamic Center around 4 a.m. on Sunday.
Authorities released a brief video clip captured from a surveillance camera outside the center that showed the man kicking an exterior door. Authorities appealed for the public’s assistance in solving the case.
Police Chief John Hutto said the vandalism had a “very real impact” on the city’s Muslim community.
“The criminal act against their sacred space is unacceptable,” Hutto said. “Right now, we need our community’s help identifying the suspect so he can be held accountable.”
Fort Collins is a city of about 160,000 people about 60 miles (96 km) north of Denver and is home to the flagship campus of Colorado State University.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, called for a federal hate-crimes investigation into the incident.
“Because of the use of a Bible in the vandalism, we would urge state and federal law enforcement authorities to investigate the possibility of a bias motive for this attack on a house of worship,” a spokesman for the Muslim advocacy group said in a statement.
Since the start of the year, CAIR said it had documented 34 cases of mosques vandalized in at least 12 states. The group said the attacks were “part of an unprecedented spike in anti-Muslim incidents nationwide that began during the recent presidential campaign and accelerated following the November 8 election.”
A spokeswoman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s field office in Denver said local police were “the primary responding agency” at this point.
(Editing by Steve Gorman and Peter Cooney)
Swiss holding ‘funeral march’ to mark disappearance of an Alpine glacier
Dozens of people will undertake a "funeral march" up a steep Swiss mountainside on Sunday to mark the disappearance of an Alpine glacier amid growing global alarm over climate change.
The Pizol "has lost so much substance that from a scientific perspective it is no longer a glacier," Alessandra Degiacomi, of the Swiss Association for Climate Protection, told AFP.
The organisation which helped organise Sunday's march said around 100 people were due to take part in the event, set to take place as the UN gathers youth activists and world leaders in New York to mull the action needed to curb global warming.
UAW strike ‘threatens to upend the economy in Michigan’ — and could destroy Trump’s re-election: report
At the end of the first week of a major strike by the United Auto Workers, the employment standoff threatens to upend President Donald Trump's 2020 re-election map, the Chicago Times reported Saturday.
Approximately 46,000 workers have been striking against General Motors.
There are two major threats to Trump's campaign from the strike.
The first is that the strike could cause regional recessions -- threatening Trump's political standing in key Rust Belt states.
Security forces fired live rounds at protesters calling for the ouster of Egyptian president: report
Egyptian security forces clashed with hundreds of anti-government protesters in the port city of Suez on Saturday, firing tear gas and live rounds, said several residents who participated in the demonstrations.
A heavy security presence was also maintained in Cairo's Tahrir Square, the epicentre of Egypt's 2011 revolution, after protests in several cities called for the removal of general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Such demonstrations are rare after Egypt effectively banned protests under a law passed following the 2013 military ouster of Islamist ex-president Mohamed Morsi.