FBI investigating explosion at Minnesota mosque – California News

FBI investigating explosion at Minnesota mosque – California News

By Karin Brulliard and Amy B Wang, (c) 2017, The Washington Post

An explosion shook a Minneapolis-area mosque during morning prayers Saturday, and an FBI official said it was caused by an “improvised explosive device.”

No one was injured in the blast at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington, Minn., which took place as a small number of worshipers gathered shortly after 5 a.m. Mohamed Omar, the center’s executive director, said in an interview that he was inside the mosque preparing for morning prayers when he felt a “huge explosion” that quickly caused smoke and flames. Omar said another person present later told him he had heard the sound of a window breaking and then a pickup truck fleeing outside.

“The sprinkler system went off and immediately water came down,” Omar said. “We didn’t know what was happening but it was scary.”

Jaylani Hussein, the executive director of the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said 15 to 20 worshipers are typically present for morning prayers. The explosion took place inside the imam’s office, which was next to a prayer area in the mosque, Hussein said. Another “overflow” prayer area behind the imam’s office was also empty, he added.

“If it was Ramadan or one of the busier times, all of the space would be used,” Hussein said in an interview.

Rick Potts, the FBI’s special agent in charge of the investigation, told reporters Saturday afternoon that the blast was caused by an “improvised explosive device” but offered no further details about its composition or possible suspects. Neither the FBI nor the Bloomington Police Department, which initially responded to the…

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