Islamic Center of Fort Collins vandalized

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FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- The Islamic Center of Fort Collins was vandalized around 3:30 a.m. Sunday, the Fort Collins Police Department said.

Police say the suspect flipped over benches and garbage cans outside of the mosque before using a large brick to attempt to smash windows, which were tempered glass.

The suspect, who is described as a man in his early 20s, was later able to break a window using a large rock and then threw a Bible into the mosque.

There was no additional damage inside the building. Surveillance video shows the man wearing a hoodie outside the center.

The president of the center, Tawfik Aboellail, said it has left him with mixed emotions.

"Fear first and concern and frustration second," Aboellail said. "Fear we come here to pray early in the morning. What if this man was armed?

"When we came we found little Bible lying on the floor with no messages in it and the police took it as evidence."

Police are not calling it a hate crime and are investigating the case.

"We don't know what the motive was. We know what the damage that was done and it's early in an investigation, and so we'll look into it and let the facts guide us to where we go," Fort Collins police Sgt. Dean Cunningham said.

"This is not to be tolerated in Fort Collins. People of faith know that an attack on one house of worship is an attack on all houses of worship and we need to be out here making a statement," Rabbi Hillel Katzir of Temple Or Hadash said.

Hundreds of people showed up for a support rally on Sunday night.

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