Muslim leaders report several metro Atlanta mosques have received threats through the mail and by e-mail.
The Georgia Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, known as CAIR, posted details on Facebook about the latest threat targeting the Greenview Madani Center in Lawrenceville.
It was made on February 24 in the form of a letter containing a crude drawing of a beheading. The letter threatened "death for you and your kind" from a self-declared "Muslim slayer."
"Considering what is happening with some of the mosques that have been burned in different parts of the US and the incident in Canada of course where six people were killed and I think 12 people were injured this is something I guess we can't take lightly," said Azam Syed, a member of the Greenview Madani Center.
Gwinnett County Police are asking anyone with information on where the letters may have come from to step forward.
"Right now we just have a suspicious letter, possibly not even originating here in Gwinnett County or the metro Atlanta area," said Gwinnett County Police Cpl. Michele Pihera. "Without that tip, there isn't a whole lot we can do, but we certainly would like to launch this investigation should we have somebody come forward."
CAIR officials said the threats are similar to letters sent last month to mosques in Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey.
According to CAIR, threatening e-mails were sent on February 18 to three mosques in metro Atlanta, including Masjid Omar bin Abdul Aziz in Norcross and Al-Farooq Masjid.
Tow mosques in Alabama received similar e-mails that warned of widespread attacks on American Muslims on March 15.
CAIR is calling on leaders of mosques to improve security measures by installing cameras and hiring security officers to protect worshippers, especially during daily prayers.
Officials said the threatening letters had stamps from overseas.
"We hope that state and federal law enforcement authorities will identify and arrest the criminals threatening violence against Georgia mosques," said Edward Ahmed Mitchell, executive director of CAIR-Georgia. "While the perpetrators are being sought, mosque leaders should do all they can to protect their houses of worship by working with local law enforcement authorities, installing security cameras and employing security officers during the daily prayers."
The FBI responded to the threats, telling 11Alive News in a statement, "The FBI is aware of the recent threats to several metro Atlanta based mosques and is in regular contact with local authorities on the matter. The FBI takes seriously all acts or threats of violence targeting religious institutions and is committed to investigating crimes that are potentially hate-motivated.”
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