CHICAGO (CBS) — Bridgeview police and the FBI interviewed two individuals Friday afternoon believed to be involved in an exchange of comments online that included potential threats made against a local mosque.
Both unnamed suspects were released, with no charges filed, police said in a news release. The investigation continues, and a detective was expected to ask for a subpoena Monday to obtain Facebook records.
“From there, a determination will be made if there are any elements of crime in regards to this incident,” Bridgeview Police Chief Walter Klimek said in a prepared statement.
The interviews capped a day of tension at Mosque Foundation on 93rd Street. Extra security was in place Friday morning, after an Islamic organization said the mosque was the target of “violent threats” posted on social media.
Authorities said the threatening message started as a general threat against Muslims, but specifically mentioned that the Mosque Foundation would be targeted, apparently in response to violence that has erupted around the world, in the wake of the terrorist attack on the Charlie Hebdo magazine.
In the Facebook post, the man wrote, “F*****’ Muslims burn down Christian churches in France! We got to start breaking some rules, putting these n****s in check.”
Later in the thread, he added, “I’d like to start with that mosque down the street. Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.”
Police said the man behind the Facebook threats has since removed the posts.
According to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the man is a Bridgeview resident in his mid-30s.
Those who attended a 6 a.m. prayer service on Friday said the threats won’t scare them away.
“In a way, they’re saying that so that we don’t show up, you know? But in reality we’re showing up regardless, just to pray,” Suheib Omaran said. “It’s concerning, because we don’t want to see anyone get hurt.”
“We come here, because we love God, we love Muhammad,” Mohammad Aliyan said. “I’m not scared of anybody, or scared of anything.”
Mosque Foundation spokesman Oussama Jammal said the threats were “very alarming.”
“This was a nightmare. When you live in an area, and you have a mosque with so many kids coming in and out – as I said, three schools we have around this mosque – we have the mosque, we have thousands of people come to the mosque,” he said. “So, the first thing you look at the security, the possibilities, the danger that those people can be exposed to.”