Security videos show concern before Bloomington mosque bombing

FBI agents and others inspect the site on an explosion.
FBI agents and others inspect the site where an explosion happened early Saturday, August 5, 2017 at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington.
Peter Cox | MPR News File

Leaders of a Minnesota mosque where a bomb went off this summer released security video of the incident, saying they hoped to jump-start an investigation that's more than 2 months old.

Six hallway cameras inside Dar Al Farooq Islamic Center in Bloomington caught the moments surrounding the Aug. 5 explosion. The bombing occurred around 4:30 a.m., just before morning prayers, causing extensive damage to the imam's office but injuring no one.

The videos, released Tuesday, don't show the blast itself, but they do show smoke and flying debris. One from inside the front door shows what appear to be lights of a passing vehicle. A man then runs inside seconds before the blast, then back to the door afterward. Another shows a man viewing a monitor as the bomb explodes.

The mosque's executive director, Mohamed Omar, said Wednesday that a member was outside when he saw someone throw something into a window, so he ran in to alert staff shortly before the bomb went off. He said the mosque decided to release the video now because the investigation appears to be lagging, and some people have claimed the bombing never happened.

Authorities said at the time of the bombing that witnesses saw someone throw something from a truck or van before the blast and saw a vehicle speed away afterward.

No arrests have been made. FBI spokesman Jeff Van Nest declined comment, citing an ongoing investigation.

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