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Rediff.com  » News » After gurudwara attack, US mosque gutted; arson suspected

After gurudwara attack, US mosque gutted; arson suspected

August 07, 2012 12:48 IST

A day after the tragic shooting incident at a gurudwara, a mosque in the United States was burned to the ground for the second time in little more than a month in a suspected arson attack.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation said the Islamic Centre of Joplin in Missouri was gutted down to the ground on Monday. The center was vacant at the time of the fire and no individuals sustained any injuries.

The FBI, in conjunction with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, the Jasper County Sheriff's Department, and the Missouri Department of Fire Safety are currently investigating and providing significant resources to determine the cause of the fire.

"We are currently in the preliminary stages of this investigation and are awaiting a determination as to the cause of this fire. If this fire is determined to be deliberate in nature, it will be investigated to the fullest extent possible," said FBI special agent in Charge Michael Kaste.

"Any act of violence to a house of worship is taken very seriously by law enforcement and threatens the very core of the safety and security that our communities enjoy," he said.

Following the incident, the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for stepped-up police protection at Muslim institutions and other houses of worship nationwide.

Recently, a $15,000 reward was announced by the FBI and the ATF for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the fire at this same center on July 4.

On Monday, CAIR offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever may have caused Sunday's fire.

Lalit K Jha in Washington