3 teens charged in vandalism of Newark, Del. mosque

NEWARK, Del. - October 28, 2013

During an interfaith prayer service Monday night, a representative from the FBI announced the arrests, saying the suspects had been arrested and charged with criminal mischief.

The three suspects, all 16 years of age and from Newark, Delaware, are charged with Criminal Mischief Over $5,000 and Conspiracy Second Degree - both felony offenses.

One of the teens was released on $4,000 bail and another was released on $2,000 bail. However, the third was committed to a juvenile facility after failing to post $2,000 bail.

The incident is believed to have happened around 5:30 Friday morning at the Islamic Society of Delaware, located on Salem Church Road in Newark.

The vandals went on a rampage at the entrance, destroying a vinyl fence, and two signs.

Then on Monday police say two concerned citizens came forward with information, leading to the arrest of the teen suspects.

Following the arrests, police said investigators had determined that the crime was a random act of vandalism, and that there was no evidence to support classification as a hate crime.

Sergeant Paul G. Shavack, Director of Public Information for the Delaware State Police, was quoted as saying, "There was no conclusive evidence to show that this act of vandalism was directed, targeted, or focused towards the Islamic Society of Delaware because of its religious affiliation or intended to intimidate the Islamic community."

The Islamic Society of Delaware has 2,000 members and this is the first time this facility has been vandalized in 25 years.

"We were shocked actually. We are very peaceful people and love to live in peace. We love for everyone else to live in peace and practice their faith. We object to any kind of violence against anyone Muslim or non-Muslim," said Abdelhadi Shehata, IMAM.

Now they prayed for peace, and just to be safe they've started installing security cameras.

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