An explosive device has detonated at a mosque in the US state of Minnesota while worshipers were preparing for morning prayers, officials say.
The explosion at an Islamic center in Bloomington before dawn Saturday did not cause any injuries but left a room damaged, according to witnesses and authorities.
“If a bias motive is proven, this attack would represent another in a long list of hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions nationwide in recent months,” said Amir Malik, the local chapter’s civil rights director.
The blast heavily damaged the imam’s office, sending smoke out of the large building, but the worshipers managed to put out the fire before firefighters arrived at the scene.
A preliminary investigation shows “an improvised explosive device” caused the explosion “in violation of federal law,” Minnesota police said.
FBI has taken the lead in the investigation which was also joined by agents from the Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.