August 13, 2012
Homemade bomb detonated at Lombard Muslim school
A homemade bomb was detonated outside a Muslim school in Lombard late Sunday as hundreds attended a Ramadan prayer service, police said.
No one was injured but the attack stoked fears among suburban Muslims already on edge after an air rifle shooting at a Morton Grove mosque two days earlier.
Lombard police said the explosion was reported about 11:30 p.m. at the College Preparatory School of America on the 300 block of West Madison Street. Worshippers heard a loud bang and went outside to find a plastic, 2-liter bottle, which had been apparently filled with acid and other chemicals, near a window.
Deputy Police Chief Pat Rollins said an investigation is under way, with police asking for the public’s help identifying a suspect.
“Anyone who knows anyone involved or has heard anyone talking about this should call us,” he said Monday. “We’re going to need the public’s assistance unless someone steps forward.”
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago said in a statement that it was “appalled at the increasing attacks on Muslim institutions.”
Man fires air rifle at Morton Grove mosque
A leader of the Morton Grove mosque that was damaged by air rifle shots on Friday said he thinks the man being held should be charged with a hate crime.
David Conrad, 51, lives just east of the mosque and faces three counts of aggravated discharge of a firearm, a class X felony, and one count of criminal damage to property, a class 4 felony, Morton Grove police said in an early Sunday press release.
The mosque’s president, Mohammad Aleemuddin, said he thinks Conrad should also be charged with a hate crime.
“It should be. It is a hate crime,” he said.
Authorities began investigating after a Friday night shooting, while worshipers were celebrating the holy month of Ramadan at the Muslim Education Center, 8601 N. Menard Avenue, about 9 p.m., according to police and mosque officials.
Off-duty Chicago Police officers, who been hired to provide additional security at the mosque during Ramadan activities, called Morton Grove police after they saw an object whiz by and hit the building just above the head of one of the officers, according to Kamran Hussain, Vice President of the Muslim Community Center of Chicago, which owns the mosque.
Hussain said this was not the first time parts of the building have been damaged, but it was the first time mosque officials had reported it to police. Erickson said the additional incidents — described as broken windows — were part of the current investigation.
Aleemuddin was inside praying on Friday night when Conrad allegedly fired the pellet gun at the mosque.
“It was very shocking. It was very shocking,” he said.
Police in Morton Grove said prosecutors rejected hate crime charges in this case.
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