PLAINFIELD, Ind. (February 28, 2016) – The Islamic Society of North America in Plainfield reported an incident that they’re calling a hate crime to local law enforcement and the FBI. Three of the vandals were caught on surveillance cameras.
The ISNA building was vandalized over the weekend, and the culprits spray-painted racial epithets on the brick wall of their headquarters.
According to a ISNA spokesperson, the vandalism was discovered around 6:45 a.m. Sunday morning. There were people inside the building at the time it occurred, but they did not see it happening. One person did see the vandal (or vandals) driving away, according to the spokesperson, but that person didn't get a good look at the person (or people) or the getaway vehicle.
The spray paint has since been removed from the brick wall.
The ISNA said three people were caught on surveillance cameras.
"Some of our footage from the surveillance camera caught three, what appears to be three young men, three boys committing vandalism. But we don't know who they are," said Hazem Bata, Secretary General of the Islamic Society of North America.
Bata said he hopes the graffiti isn't a sign of worse acts to come.
"It makes certain members of our community very, very scared - very, very nervous, less likely to attend the mosque and to engage in public. And that's the real fear is that members of our community will change their lifestyle because of things like that," he said.
The FBI released this statement Sunday:
The Indianapolis office of the FBI is aware of the incident in Plainfield, Indiana and are in regular contact with local authorities. If in the course of the investigation, information comes to light of a potential federal civil rights violation, the FBI is prepared to investigate.