The Islamic Center of Fort Collins was vandalized by an unknown suspect around 4 a.m. on Sunday.
Surveillance footage provided by ICFC shows the male suspect, dressed in jeans and a dark purple hoodie, arriving at the Islamic Center at 3:57 a.m. and kicking the east door.
The suspect left for a few minutes and returned again at 4:03 a.m. Then at 4:09 a.m. one of the glass panels on the back doors was shattered with a rock thrown by the suspect.
Police found a screw driver on the sidewalk at the scene and a Bible inside the Islamic Center. The Bible appeared to be thrown into the prayer room.
Tawfik Aboellail, President of the Islamic Center of Fort Collins, said the ICFC anticipated the attack due to increased suspicious activity occurring around the area.
“(We’ve noticed that) someone will come and park in the middle of the parking lot and have his high beams on,” Aboellail said.
Aboellail said the Islamic Center asked for increased protection from the police, especially during their Friday night prayer sessions, due to the suspicious activity.
The center is under surveillance and, based on the footage, Aboellail said he could see that the suspect grabbed the biggest rock he could find and threw it across the prayer hall. The police took the rock for evidence.
According to Aboellail the suspicious activity started a couple weeks ago. He said he is grateful no one was in the center praying when it happened.
“Luckily, there was no one here praying,” Aboellail said. “If (the rock) had hit someone in the back of their head, (they) would have died from it.”
The Islamic Center of Fort Collins will hold an event at 5 p.m. on Sunday for members of the community to show their support.
“(I’m) feeling fearful for the safety of our community members, angry that no serious steps were taken to prevent this and frustrated because I blame myself for not beefing up security or doing something more drastic,” Aboellail said.
Signs in support of the Islamic community are welcome at the event. The Islamic Center also started a GoFundMe page to raise money to repair the damage done to the center.
Collegian reporter Haley Candelario can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @H_Candelario98.