Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

US mosque destroyed in suspected arson attack

WASHINGTON — A mosque burned to the ground in the midwestern United States on Monday, in what worshippers suspect was a hate attack, less than a day after a deadly shooting at a Sikh temple.

Firefighters and police were called to the Islamic Center in Joplin, Missouri at 3:40 am (0840 GMT) -- about an hour before local Muslims were about to pray during Ramadan -- according to the FBI.

"The building was completely destroyed," said Sharon Rhine, a spokeswoman for the local Jasper County Sheriff's office.

No one was hurt in the incident, according to a statement by the office that referred to the mosque as an "Islamic Church."

"No-one was apprehended. They don't want to call it a hate crime without information or knowledge of having someone to charge," Rhine said.

Monday's blaze followed an attack on July 4, when an unidentified suspect threw a petrol bomb onto the roof of the same mosque, causing minor damage.

The mosque's surveillance cameras captured an image of the assailant's face, and the FBI recently offered a $50,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the man behind the July incident, but no one has been apprehended.

FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said both incidents occurred in the middle of the night, but said the FBI would "wait to determine the cause of the fire." Read More