LOS ANGELES — Law enforcement officials gathered with local Muslim leaders at the Islamic Center of Southern California to respond to threatening letters that had been sent to several mosques in the state.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) could not, however, confirm that the letters actually came from outside the community, or that they were not a prank. And the Los Angeles Police Department said that the letters were being investigated as a “hate incident,” not a “hate crime,” because there was no specific, immediate threat.
Stephen Woolery, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Counterterrorism Division in Los Angeles, said that at least five letters were received by Islamic institutions in California. Letters were received in San Jose, Northridge, Claremont, Signal Hill, and Los Angeles. He added that there was possibly one more letter that had been received outside the state, possibly in Georgia.
One letter, widely circulated in the media, read, in part: “You Muslims are a vile and filthy people … There’s a new sheriff in town — President Donald Trump. He’s going to cleanse America … He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews.”
The language of each of the letters was similar, officials said. They did not contain a specific threat of violence.
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