Police investigating hate messages spray-painted on Moorhead mosque

Police and federal authorities are investigating hate messages that were found spray-painted early Sunday on the outside of a mosque in Moorhead, Minn.

Officers were dispatched to the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Community Center at about 5:20 a.m. Sunday. Police said the grafitti was found in several areas on and around the building.

Video surveillance from the building captured images of a suspect wearing a camouflage jacket and dark ski mask.

The two cities are “sharing overwhelming support” for the Islamic congregation, officials said in a release.

“Hate will not have a home in Moorhead," Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson said in a news release. "The words and symbols defacing the Islamic Center are horrifying to view, but we must view them to bear witness and understand the magnitude and depth of how these hate-filled words impact those in our community.”

“I can’t imagine this happening to my place of worship. We stand with Moorhead’s Islamic community. Hatred is not welcome in Moorhead," City Manager Dan Mahli said.

The investigation by Moorhead police and Fargo office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation is ongoing, authorities said.

City officials said removal of the vandalism will begin on Monday, after investigators have had time to gather evidence at the scene.

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