ST. CLOUD -- The Minnesota chapter of the Council of American-Islamic Relations is asking for St. Cloud police to step up their patrols after an attack on the St. Cloud Mosque.

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The St. Cloud police department responded to the St. Cloud Islamic Center just after 4:00 a.m.

Authorities say two suspects (a man and women) had broken an exterior door to gain entry in to the mosque. Video surveillance shows suspects broke some ceiling tiles and ransacked an office while inside.

Both suspects fled the scene before officers arrived.

Roughly two hours later, both suspects were found at a nearby hotel. Authorities used a search warrant on the hotel room and found evidence linking them to the burglary.

(Photo: CAIR-MN)
(Photo: CAIR-MN)
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Arrested was 23-year-old Logan Smith of Rogers and 25-year-old Victoria Veliz of New Hope. Both were taken to the Stearns County Jail and are being held on burglary charges.

St. Cloud police say this incident is being considered a bias motivated crime and are working with the FBI.

Authorities says they understand how this type of act can cause concern in the community and additional police patrols will be provide to the local Islamic Centers and mosques.

CAIR-Minnesota plans to hold a news conference Friday afternoon about the need for increased security for mosques statewide.

This is second recent attack on a mosque in span of a week after Tawfiq Islamic Center in Minneapolis was attacked Sunday night.

 

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