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Mosque-goers on high alert as arson investigation is underway

Posted at 11:45 AM, Mar 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-25 20:01:36-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV)- Monday morning Escondido Police provided extra police patrols at a local mosque that was targeted on Sunday.

Police say the Dar-ul-Arqam Mosque on 6th Avenue was set on fire by an arsonist that has yet to be identified.

Worshipers inside the mosque noticed the flames around 3 a.m. on Sunday and were able to put them out before the fire could spread.

Lt. Chris Lick with the Escondido Police Department said once police and arson investigators arrived, they determined that the fire was set intentionally. They also found a note left by the suspect.

“Graffiti left behind by the suspect made reference to the shooting incident in New Zealand,” said Lt. Lick.

The San Diego Police Department has also stepped up patrols at mosques across the city in response the incident in Escondido.

San Diego's Anti-Defamation League issued a statement in support of the mosque and worshippers.

“This attack appears to be meant to send a signal to the Muslim community” said ADL Regional Director Tammy Gillies. “Sadly, this type of behavior is consistent with the growth in hate crimes, rise in attacks on Muslims, and the surge in anti-Muslim bigotry that we have seen in our country and around the world.”

A crowdfunding campaign was launched to help raise money to provide repairs and proper security at the mosque in Escondido.

The campaign has received support from people across the country. If you would like to donate click here.