Police say boys damaging mosque had possible 'bias-based motive'
"There has been some information that suggests a bias-based motive," said Tessier, who would not provide additional details. However, the Council on American-Islamic Relations said the perpetrators bragged of the vandalism online and left comments on anti-Muslim hate sites.
"To me, it looks like a hate crime, but we still haven't gotten all the facts yet," said Dr. Salam Malik, a Londonderry resident and trustee of the Islamic Society of Greater Manchester. He praised the work of Manchester police and called the vandalism an aberration for New Hampshire, where he said Muslims are generally well accepted.
She said the two do not meet the legal requirements needed to be certified for adult prosecution.
Construction on the mosque started about five years ago. Work moves forward whenever leaders amass enough donations and volunteer labor, Malik said. Last year, they made the building weather tight and construction is now focused on the interior, Malik said.
Local Muslim leaders have declined offers from outside the region, including the Middle East, to fund the construction. If outside money were accepted, it would have to be vetted, and the leaders would lose some control of the mosque, Malik said.