Blast Reported at Minnesota Islamic Center

Bomb blast at mosque during prayers – FBI probe after 'device hurled through window'

People pray at the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Baitus-Salaam Mosque during an open mosque event at which members of the public are invited to see how Ahmadiyya Muslims pray, in Hawthorne, California, December 18, 2015.

The blast rang out at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington around 5 a.m. CDT, when over a dozen people were gathering inside for morning prayers.

Police say there were no injuries, but the explosion damaged a room in the mosque.

The police department tweeted that the Federal Bureau of Investigation field office in Minneapolis is now the lead agency investigating the explosion.

At a press conference, Zaman said the Islamic center had received hateful messages of hate before.

The witness described people running outside after the blast and seeing a vehicle driving away.

"It was 5 a.m.", Omar told the Star Tribune.

A bomb was thrown through the window of a mosque while worshippers were preparing for morning prayers. No one was hurt in the explosion. A large area outside the center was cordoned off as investigators, including members of the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, combed through the grass.

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"Targeting people because of their race, their ethnicity or their religion is absolutely un-American", said Muslim-American Society of Minnesota Executive Director Asad Zaman.

But he didn't take questions and declined to provide details about the device, citing the ongoing investigation, which is being led by the FBI.

The FBI on Saturday said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.

"Every place of worship, for all Minnesotans of every faith and culture, must be sacred and safe", Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said in a statement.

A recent report also said hate crimes spiked in 2016, which was the worst year on record for anti-Muslim incidents since the group began its documentation system in 2013.

"We must all unite to stand against them as Americans who cherish the ability to worship freely, and who cherish the ability of our neighbors to do the same".

"And that freedom is under threat". Others in the group included U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, the first Muslim elected to Congress, and Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar, the nation's first Somali-American lawmaker, and a Muslim. A $10,000 reward is being offered to help catch the suspect.

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