FBI Joins Possible Hate Crime Investigation At Baltimore County Mosque

HALETHROPE, Md. (WJZ)—The FBI joins the investigation into vandalism at a mosque in Baltimore County.

Mike Schuh explains why the Feds are getting involved.

A man, going to pray, opened up the door to his mosque in Halethorpe. Where he would kneel were shards of glass. Not knowing what to do, the leaders called police.

In a Halethorpe strip mall between the caterers and the insurance agent, the national language of Pakistan is heard.

Friday prayers are to Muslims what Saturday is to Jews and Sunday is to Christians.

Abain Rechman comes to the mosque to pray.

“And the glass was all over the place,” he recalled.

Earlier this week, the mosque’s back window was shattered where worshipers are now. The glass coated the carpet.  There was also a rock.

“Must be at least a ten pounder,” Rechman said.

The mosque is fenced. There’s only one way in or out.

Before they cast their stone, the vandals walked right past a rock pile. Though the hole in a window is large enough for someone to fit through, no one went inside.

“Well, it could be a hate crime, could be mischief of a teenager,” Rechman said.

Nothing was taken from inside. Damage is only a couple of hundred bucks, but because this is a place of worship, police want to know if it’s a hate crime.

“It refers to a crime that is committed out of a motive of prejudice or hatred for a certain group of people,” said Elise Armacost, Baltimore County Police.

They’re not sure if it is, but a national Islamic organization made the FBI aware of what happened here.

“So whenever it happens we don’t view any incident as too small,” said Ibrahim Hooper, Council on American Islamic Relations.

The 40 families now wonder why and would like to talk with the culprits.

“I would like to know what really provoked for you to show us what your feelings are. I like to hear those feelings verbally rather than you showing it through a rock,” Rechman said.

The mosque is waiting for its insurance to cover the cost of the new window. Right now there are no eyewitnesses, no suspects. If you can add to their investigation, police in Baltimore County ask you to give them a call.

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