BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WISH) – Police are looking for the man responsible for the vandalism of a mosque in Bloomington early Monday morning and the loss of damage.
Leaders at Bloomington Islamic Center say they feel their mosque has been targeted.
Mosque leaders arrived early Monday morning to find that almost all of the areas outside their building had been damaged in some way after a man came in the middle of the night to do so. havoc.
Although police did not identify him as such, mosque officials say they believe they were the victims of a hate crime.
At around 1:15 am Monday, a security video shows a man arriving at the center. For the next 45 minutes, he was seen destroying the property.
Surveillance video shows him attempting to destroy anything he can on the property, from the fence to picnic tables, play equipment and more.
The man even threw away trash cans and destroyed the heating, ventilation and air conditioning system by cutting and tearing wires.
Police were called to the mosque around 6:40 a.m. Monday to see the damage left behind. They say they can’t comment on their investigation, but they haven’t made any arrests. Investigators attempted to collect DNA evidence, which was sent to an Indiana State Police lab for analysis.
The FBI says they are aware of the incident but the Bloomington Police Department is investigating.
The center sent a statement through the Council On American Islamic Relations-Chicago, which shared photos of vandalism: “This incident sent shivers down the spine of our collective community. We feel insecure and believe that the threat, which we consider a hate crime, has not been adequately addressed. The only perpetrator captured in the security footage clearly targeted our mosque, not hitting any other cars, property or residences in the area. “
Police describe the man seen in this video as a man with short hair and layered clothes.
US Representative Andre Carson, a Democrat from Indianapolis, commented on the damage in a tweet, saying, “I condemn this act of Islamophobia and expect those responsible to be brought to justice. Every Muslim, and every person of faith, should be able to practice their religion without fear of violence or intimidation.
Bloomington Police have asked anyone with information about the crime or the identity of the suspect to call Detective John Alberson of the Bloomington Police Department at 812-339-4477.