The FBI is viewing a fire that took place at a mosque in Coachella, California as an intentional act, The Los Angeles Times reports.
Officials announced the news late Friday after the lobby of Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley mosque was set on fire earlier that day. The fire happened around 12 p.m., 15 minutes after an afternoon prayer service. Salahaldeen Alwishah, 27, told reporters there were just a few worshippers in the mosque when the fire erupted.
No one was injured.
Police investigated the incident Friday evening where they discovered a window had been blown out. The mosque also had smoke damage from the fire.
A person of interest was detained, but very little information was released. Islamic community leaders and Ojaala Ahmad, a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, have been in touch with the FBI.
The Los Angeles reports:
The Sheriff’s Department “believes this is an intentional act and we are using all available resources to follow up on any leads that are brought to our attention,” Deputy Armando Munoz, a department spokesman, said in a statement Friday evening. “Cal Fire and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives are assisting us with this investigation.”
The incident comes in a week full of attacks against Muslim-Americans since the San Bernardino shooting. A pig’s severed head was found outside of a mosque in Philadelphia, while in New York a man was arrested for attacking a Muslim storeowner.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time the Coachella mosque was targeted. In 2014, a gunman fired a shot into the mosque. No one was hurt and the case was treated as a hate crime.
SOURCE: Los Angeles Times | VIDEO CREDIT: Inform