Police in suburban Chicago probing attack on Islamic school
CHICAGO (Reuters) - Police in suburban Chicago on Monday were investigating an attack on an Islamic school that disrupted Sunday night prayers but caused no injuries or damage.
Deputy Chief Pat Rollins of the Lombard Police Department said a soda bottle filled with chemicals was thrown at the College Preparatory School of America, a private Islamic school located about 20 miles west of Chicago, around 11:30 p.m. Sunday night.
The device exploded, causing a loud bang that startled worshippers gathering for Ramadan prayers, but no one was hurt and the school was not damaged, Rollins said.
Even so, Rollins said investigators were "treating this very seriously." He asked anyone with any information about the attack to contact Lombard Police Department.
The Chicago office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) called on the FBI to open a hate crime investigation into the attack, the second incident in the Chicago area in recent days.
The Chicago office of the FBI did not immediately return a request for comment.
Last Friday, a man was arrested in Morton Grove, Illinois, about 15 miles north of Chicago, after he fired a pellet gun at a mosque during evening prayers.
Earlier last week, a mosque in Joplin, Missouri was burned to the ground in what investigators suspect was an arson attack.
Ahmed Rehab, the executive director of CAIR-Chicago, said the attacks were part of a broader uptick in anti-Muslim incidents fanned by what he called "inflammatory statements by elected officials locally and nationwide."
At a town hall meeting last week, Joe Walsh, a Republican who represents Chicago's northwest suburbs in the U.S. House of Representatives, warned that radical Muslims in the United States are "trying to kill Americans every week.
"It is a real threat," Walsh said, "and it is a threat that is much more at home now than it was right after 9/11."
Earlier this summer, Michele Bachmann, the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota and former presidential hopeful, said the U.S. government had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Obama administration has called Bachmann's accusation unfounded.
(Editing by Cynthia Osterman)
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