Dayton calls Islamic center explosion an 'act of terrorism'

Governor Dayton and State Rep. Ilhan Omar at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center
Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, and DFL Governor Mark Dayton visited the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center on Sunday, the day following an explosion in the imam's office.
Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News

Governor Mark Dayton said Saturday's explosion at an Islamic center in Bloomington was "an act of terror."

Saturday morning Dayton arrived with Rep. Ilhan Omar, DFL-Minneapolis, to tour the damage to the imam's office at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center. He brought a single rose to the imam.

"If this were the roles were reversed, it would be called a terrorist attack and that's what it is, it's an act of terrorism, a criminal act of terrorism against the imam who thank the good Lord was not present in his office as it would appear this person intended," said Dayton.

Dayton also called the act unforgivable and says he wants to express his solidarity and determination to catch and prosecute whoever is responsible.

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Imam Waleed Al-Maneese at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center.
Imam Waleed Meneese at Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center speaks to media on the day after an explosion in his office.
Doualy Xaykaothao | MPR News

Imam Waleed Meneese said he believes the center may have been targeted because of its size.

"I think because Muslim communities grow up and some people hate Muslims with no reason other than they're different from them," said Meneese.

Just after 5 a.m. Saturday, with some congregants gathered for morning prayers elsewhere in the building, the explosive went off. No injuries were reported. The FBI, along with the ATF and Bloomington Police Department are investigating.

The FBI on Saturday said the blast was caused by an improvised explosive device.