One of the non-flying imams is in the news again, in an apparent attack with a caustic substance at a mosque in Phoenix: Arizona mosque targeted in acid bomb attack.
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway) that if the circumstances described in the article are correct, the creeps who did it will get no support from LGF.
A Glendale Police Department spokesman said two men driving in a red car threw a soda bottle filled with acid and a reactant at the Albanian American Islamic Center of Arizona, in Glendale, west of Phoenix, around 1 a.m. (O800 GMT) on Monday.
The bottle, which contained pool cleaner and strips of tin foil, burst some 20-25 feet away from Imam Didmar Faja and another mosque official, although neither man was injured, sergeant Jim Toomey said. “The bottle ruptured in front of them and they smelled a strong chemical smell when it went off,” Toomey said. “We are treating it as a hate crime. We are taking it very seriously,” he added.
Faja is one of six Muslim clerics known as the “Flying Imams” who are bringing a suit against US Airways alleging discrimination after they were removed from a Minneapolis to Phoenix flight last November. …
The Council on American-Islamic Relations said on Wednesday that the imams and their attorney had received death threats stemming from the lawsuit, and urged Glendale police to consider that as a possible line of inquiry in their investigation.
One detail about the incident casts doubt on the assumption (immediately promoted by CAIR, of course) that the imam was deliberately targeted. This wasn’t the first attack, and the others were not aimed at any religious locations.
Toomey said that the attack was one of six similar incidents involving the soda-bottle device in the Glendale area over a three-day period, but the other five did not appear to have a religious link. “Until we know (the reason), we are going to assume that (the mosque attack) was religiously motivated,” he added.
UPDATE at 8/8/07 3:08:25 pm:
More details on the incident at AZcentral: Chemical bomb tossed at Glendale mosque. (Hat tip: Eleanor.)
A chemical bomb was tossed from a car at a Glendale mosque, an incident that is being considered as a possible hate crime, police said Wednesday.
Nobody was injured, but the bomb landed near two people associated with the Albanian American Islamic Center, 6724 W. Greenway Road, said Sgt. Jim Toomey, a Glendale police spokesman. They were Didmar Fata, the imam, or prayer leader, of the mosque, and Bardhul Kosourasti, another mosque official, Toomey said. “This is being investigated as a possible hate crime,” Toomey added.
The incident occurred about 1 a.m. Monday when a bottle with a swimming pool chemical and a reactant was tossed by a passenger in a red car and landed on the street outside the structure, a converted mobile home with no outside markings identifying it as a mosque, Toomey said.
“The bottle ruptured and the two men smelled a chemical,” he said. Witnesses described the vehicle as possibly a 10-year-old Honda, Toomey added.
Within the previous 72 hours, there were about five other such incidents in Glendale, but police have not been able to establish a link, Toomey said. None of the other incidents involved a house of worship, he said.
UPDATE at 8/8/07 3:13:25 pm:
Still more details at the Washington Times: Police: ‘pop bottle bomb’ thrown at imam.
Glendale police Officer Matt Barnett said at least six similar incidents were reported over the weekend but none was directed at religious targets.
“Calling it an ‘acid bomb’ is kind of misleading,” Officer Barnett said. “It was a plastic bottle with pool cleaner that expands and pops and squirts the pool acid. It’s kind of like the Menthos [mints] and Coca Cola thing you see [on YouTube] — the pressure mounts and it pops. It’s not like a stick of dynamite was placed there.”
“We’re not ruling anything out. We’ve had a few more pop bottle bombs in the area, and we’re concerned and want to see if there is a motive against religion or just a bunch of yahoos driving around and tossing these out the window,” Officer Barnett said.
It looks like CAIR plans to really move on this one.
In a 10-page press release issued by the Council on American Islamic Relations, Muslims were warned to review their personal security and to “develop a list of attorneys who are willing to be consulted by the Muslim community in response to backlash incidents.”
“Ask Muslim attorneys to volunteer their services to community members during this time of crisis,” said the “community safety kit” issued by CAIR.
CAIR called the device an “acid bomb” that targeted the imam specifically because of the lawsuit, and called on “local and national law enforcement authorities to investigate the incident as a possible bias-motivated attack.”