The burned out mosque, Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, was home to two notorious Muslim terrorists – Omar Mateen, the man who killed 49 and injured many more at the Pulse nightclub just 3 months ago, and a Muslim suicide bomber who renounced his American citizenship, went to Syria, and blew himself up for an al-Qaeda affiliate there.
Washington Post Authorities are investigating the incident as arson. “Video captured at the Fort Pierce Islamic Center shows an individual approached the east side of the building just moments before a flash is seen and the fire starts.”
The fire came at the end of the day on Sept. 11th and the beginning of Eid al-Adha — the Muslim holiday of the barbaric sacrifice on fully-conscious animals.
“It is with a very heavy heart that we have to announce that last night around midnight, there was an arson attack on our Mosque,” the Islamic Center said in a statement early Monday. “Please keep us in your Du’as and prayers.”
It’s unclear how much damage was done to the mosque. But a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations Florida chapter said the “whole center is a crime scene now.”
Early Monday, Maj. David Thompson with the St. Lucie County Sheriff’s Office told reporters “I don’t want to speculate on a motive,” he said. “We all know the implications of the date and the time of year that this is — the 9/11 anniversary. Is that related? I wouldn’t want to speculate, but certainly that is in the back of our minds.”
Thompson told reporters that “evidence has revealed that this fire was set intentionally.”
The mosque became a locus of attention in June, after Mateen opened fire at a gay nightclub in Orlando, killing 49 people and leaving dozens of others injured. Mateen, who attended the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, was killed in a shootout with police inside the Pulse nightclub.
Mateen was at the mosque just two days before the deadly shooting rampage. On that evening, a Friday, “he knelt for over an hour on the green carpet of the Fort Pierce mosque, praying with his young son.”
The first American to carry out a suicide bombing in Syria, Moner Mohammad Abusalha (below), also worshiped here before he left his car outside the mosque in 2014, flew to Syria, burned his U.S. passport and blew himself up in an operation for an al-Qaeda affiliate.
The FBI looked for a potential connection between Mateen and Abusalha in 2014 and did not find “ties of any consequence,” aside from the two men knowing each other “casually” from attending the same mosque, said the bureau’s director, James B. Comey, on Monday.
But in the wake of Sunday’s attack in Orlando, there is a new focus on this small working-class town in South Florida and the mosque attended by two of the most infamous Muslim extremists with U.S. roots.
Ibrahim Hooper, national spokesman for designated terrorist group CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations), said attacks against the American Muslim community are becoming a daily occurrence in America since
Islamophobia (Muslim terrorist attacks) moved into the mainstream.