By Bassel Barakat
U.S. police is stepping up at Columbia mosque after someone posted a threat on Facebook says that “maybe you’ll be next,” which is considered as a possible reference to the terrorist attacks in New Zealand one week ago.
The alleged threats are being investigated by Howard County Police which was made on the Facebook page of Maryum Islamic Center, reported the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).
“Patrols have been increased at Muslim facilities in the county throughout the week since the attacks in New Zealand, and there was an extra presence at Maryum Center tonight. There also will be a police presence at their fundraising dinner tomorrow,” said police spokesperson Seth Hoffman.
A note posted Thursday regarding Maryum Islamic Center stated: “You know the only thing you don’t want us to do is really show up right. And here’s what I say I got your address now mother***s maybe you’ll be next,” reported CAIR in a press release Friday.
“The phrase ‘maybe you’ll be next’ was taken as a possible reference to the mosque massacres [that killed 50 people] in New Zealand,” said CAIR.
CAIR “has been in touch with the county executive’s office and law enforcement authorities who have stepped-up patrols of in the area of the mosque and provided security during today’s Friday congregational prayers. Extra precautions taken for the weekend’s event include uniformed officers and a visible police presence. The threat is being investigated by authorities as a hate/bias incident and the FBI has reportedly been notified.”
Zainab Chaudry, director of CAIR Maryland outreach, added: “Even as we take extra security precautions, we will not be intimidated. We encourage the community to attend tomorrow evening’s event to support Maryum Islamic Center and to demonstrate that hate can never succeed in achieving its evil goals.”
The New Zealand attacks made Muslims to seek more protection in the United States.
In a related context, last week, a Man accused of making threatening gestures in Phoenix mosque after New Zealand massacre.
U.S police arrested a man saying he threatened people in a Phoenix mosque. The police said the man visited a mosque, strolled inside the rooms without permission and when the mosque leader questioned him, he made a slashing motion across his throat.
According to police, The incident took place last Saturday at 7:25 p.m., one day after a 28-year-old gunman was charged with murder after killing 49 people and injuring dozens on Friday prayers, in New Zealand mosques.