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Explosion outside NY mosque investigated as possible hate crime

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Police in Long Island, New York, are investigating an explosion outside of a mosque as a possible hate crime.

Around midnight on Sunday, July 3, a device similar to a Molotov cocktail exploded outside of the Masjid Fatima Al-Zahra mosque in Ronkonkoma, FOX 5 NY reports. No one was injured, but the silver Crescent moon sign at the mosque was damaged.

According to NBC New York, the Suffolk District Attorney says the explosion was caused by someone throwing a container filled with accelerant. Surveillance footage shows the seconds leading up to the explosion.

“All of a sudden I hear a big explosion — and I mean big explosion,” Imam Ahmed Ibrahim, who was finishing prayer when the explosion occurred, told NBC New York.

PIX 11 reports that the FBI is now working with Suffolk County police to determine if the incident was motivated by hate.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison condemned the attack.

“A hate crime towards the Islamic Muslim community is a hate crime toward all Suffolk County residents,” Harrison said at the mosque on Tuesday, according to FOX 5 NY. “This is something that everybody should be angry about.”

Ibrahim called for peace and understanding.

“We’re peaceful people. Come understand who you attacked,” he told PIX 11. “We can speak and listen to each other.”

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