FBI Investigates Va. Mosque Vandalism

Monday, Sep 17, 2012  |  Updated 5:00 PM EDT
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FBI Investigates Va. Mosque Vandalism

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The FBI is investigating after a mosque in Virginia was spray-painted with obscene graffiti that included a misspelled reference to Iraqis and the phrase "This is America."

Lawrence Barry of the FBI office in Richmond said Monday the agency is helping local authorities investigate the vandalism. He said the FBI was called in at the request of officials at the Islamic Center of the Shenandoah Valley, one of three Harrisonburg, Va., buildings targeted by vandals late last week.

Nihad Awad, executive director of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, said it was clear the mosque had been deliberately targeted by vulgar, "racist language."

Obscene graffiti also was reported at a high school and a Christian school. Rockingham County Sheriff Bryan Hutcheson said the three incidents of vandalism appeared to be related.

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