A Molotov cocktail was thrown
against the side of the Islamic Society of Denton early
Thursday morning, causing an estimated $2,500 in damage, said
Kiersten Dieterle, a spokeswoman for the city of Denton, a
suburb of Dallas.
A witness reported the fire to authorities about 2:30 a.m.,
Dieterle said. She said the building was unoccupied and there
were no injuries.
Dieterle said the Molotov cocktail was made of a beer
bottle and caused minor fire damage to the side of the
building. The interior was not damaged, she said.
Dieterle said the task force, created in the wake of the
1993 Branch Davidian siege near Waco, will pool the resources
of the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms, the
Denton County Arson Force and other local law enforcement to
help investigate the incident.
A telephone call to the Islamic Society was not answered
It was the third mosque attack in two days in Texas
following terrorist attacks along the East Coast that
destroyed the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New
York and damaged the Pentagon in Washington, D.C.
Law enforcement officials who spoke on condition of
anonymity said the terrorists had possible ties to countries
including Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and Saudi fugitive Osama bin
Laden is a top suspect.
Two other Dallas-area mosques were vandalized Wednesday.
At least six bullets shattered windows of the Islamic
Center of Irving early Wednesday, causing about $3,000 in
damage to the large pane windows fronting the shopping center
location, officials said.
In nearby Carrollton, a window at the Islamic Center of
Carrollton was smashed by a slingshot-type device, police
No injuries occurred at either incident, both of which were
being investigated by police and the FBI.
During a Wednesday afternoon news conference, the FBI's
special agent-in-charge in Dallas harshly criticize the
"Quite frankly, I should not have to be wasting my time in
doing vandalism-type cases with the national initiative with
so many deaths and tragedies we've had over the last day,"
said Danny Defenbaugh.
Places of worship weren't the only buildings to be
vandalized across Texas.
In San Antonio, police said the front door and front window
of the Shiraz Persian restaurant was shattered by apparent
The attack on the small family-owned restaurant happened
around 2 a.m., city manager Barbara Joseph said. She said no
one was injured.
Meanwhile, a Dallas-area organization that provides relief
to Palestinians received threatening phone calls Tuesday.
Police placed a squad car outside the Holy Land Foundation
as a precaution, said Richardson police spokesman Sgt. Keith
Last week records were seized from Holy Land in an
anti-terrorism investigation led by the FBI.
On Sept. 7 the U.S. Department of Commerce suspended the
export privileges of InfoCom Corp. Inc., an Internet-services
business that has close ties to Holy Land because of alleged
illegal shipments to Libya and Syria.
A federal grand jury also subpoenaed records from Holy Land
and other groups that did business with InfoCom. No charges
have been brought against InfoCom or Holy Land. Both deny any
link to terrorists.
(Copyright 2001 by The Associated Press. All Rights
Last Updated: Sep 13,
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