ESCONDIDO, Calif. – A note referencing the recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand was found at the scene of a possible arson fire at a Southern California mosque, police said Sunday.
Nobody was hurt, and members of the Islamic Center of Escondido were able to extinguish the small blaze before firefighters around 3:15 a.m., officials said.
The incident was being investigated as arson and a possible hate crime, said police in the city about 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of downtown San Diego.
A note was found in the parking lot referencing the shootings this month that killed 50 people at mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand, police Lt. Chris Lick said. He did not elaborate about the contents of the note.
Investigators did not release information about a suspect.
The fire caused minor damage to the building’s exterior.
The Escondido mosque was created four years ago and serves several hundred people in the city of about 143,000 residents, member Yusef Miller said.
He told KNSD-TV that worshippers are “very on edge,” but undeterred.
“We won’t stop praying,” Miller said. “We won’t stop gathering.”
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