Fire set in parking lot of Iowa mosque - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Fire set in parking lot of Iowa mosque

Posted: Updated:
WATERLOO (KWWL) -

Surveillance video shows people lighting a fire in the parking lot of an area mosque. 

It happened at the Islamic Foundation of Iowa in Waterloo on Wednesday evening just as prayer was wrapping up inside. 

"To me this is nothing more than terrorism really," says Ibrahim Shehata, President of the Islamic Foundation of Iowa. 

Video shows two adults walking through the parking lot followed by what appears to be two children, the adult in front is holding what looks like lighter fluid. 

The adults can be seen crouching behind a car and doing something on the ground while the children stand back and watch. 

Moments later they appear to be lighting a fire and it looks like lighter fluid is poured on top. 

As the fire grows, the four run away. 

Thankfully, no one was hurt. 
"Those four they really as they are making this explosion they cared for their safety to run away that fast where there are people inside and they did not care about their lives," says Shehata. 

Vice President Theron Montgomery says all that was left behind was handed over to police. 
"Two plastic looking bottles that were burned from the fire and they were in a bag and there was some fluid in the bag not sure what the fluid was it didn't have a real smell to it," he told us. 

The Mosque believes they were targeted because of their religion. 
 "As a young Muslim in this community I feel like I'm kind of shook about this because now I have to look over my shoulder just to make sure I'm not threatened or I'm not in potential harms way," says Yusuf Shehata, the IT Director. 

He added that he would label this incident as a hate crime. 

We were not able to reach Waterloo Police today for comment because of the Labor Day holiday but the mosque says they want justice. 
Since the incident Shehata says they have had community members reach out in support, some even dropping off food, he says that's the community they know in Waterloo. 
    

Powered by Frankly