ALPHARETTA, Ga. -- Alpharetta police were in contact Tuesday evening with the Joint Terrorism Task Force after vandals painted over a sign at a mosque, with the possible reference to a recent attack in the U.K.
At the Islamic Center of North Fulton, their sign was vandalized with white paint, reading "London Justice" on the front side. The rear of that same sign was also laced with white paint, reading "Where is Justice?"
The act of vandalism may be in response to recent events in London where a soldier was killed by a alleged terrorist with a machete. Clearly, it is misguided anger and the place of worship has no connection to what happened in London.
"Since this happened in close proximity to those horrific events over in the United Kingdom, it is something that we do have to consider," said Alpharetta Police spokesperson George Gordon.
A witness said that they saw an elderly man wearing a rag on his head and short pants. When they asked him what he was doing, they said he just calmly walked away. They said he had a British accent.
The Islamic Center is not only a school for young children; it is also a mosque, a place of worship.
Islamic Center officials said it was hard explaining the vandalism to students when they returned to school Tuesday. "It was really hard," said Dr. Moiz Mumtaz, Chairman of the Board of Trustees at the Center. "We tried to explain that there are people with all kinds of levels of knowledge and if you lack knowledge this is what is going to happen."
Dr. Mumtaz said it appears the anger was directed at the Center because of recent terror attacks in London. "We have nothing to do with what happened in London or anywhere in the world," he said. "We are people who want to pray and be peaceful and enjoy our fundamental rights."
Alpharetta Police immediately contacted the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) because the vandalism happened at a place of worship. Dr. Mumtaz said FBI agents were at the Center investigating on Tuesday.