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Authorities investigating incident at Hoke County mosque

Posted June 9
Updated June 10

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— Officials said a man was arrested and charged with communicating threats after a series of incidents Thursday evening at the Masjid Al Madina mosque in Raeford.

Around 4:30 p.m., two employees found a bag filled with bacon at the entrance of the mosque, authorities said.

Following afternoon prayers, a man praying at the mosque exited and was followed to his home. The man said the suspect who followed him was present at the mosque when he returned at 5:30 p.m.

Authorities told WRAL News that a retired Army captain, who is Muslim chaplain at Fort Bragg, was approached by the man around 6 p.m. in the parking lot of the mosque. According to the chaplain, the man showed him a gun and threatened to kill him.

The chaplain said he asked the man to come inside and talk, but the man declined and left the area.

Officials said the man returned around 8 p.m. and attempted to run over a group of people in his SUV while worshipers were entering the mosque for their Ramadan evening prayer.

"We call on state law enforcement authorities and the FBI to investigate this incident as a possible hate crime,” said Ibrahim Hooper, of the Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations. “We also ask local police to step up patrols in the area of this and other North Carolina mosques, particularly during the nightly activities associated with the ongoing fast of Ramadan."

The president Masjid Al Madina said Thursday's incident was the first act of violence at mosque and is thankful nobody was hurt.

Authorities said the investigation is ongoing. No additional information has been released.


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  • Jarfaris Brown Jun 10, 2:31 p.m.
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    I'm not forgetting he's an American soldier who served his country. I hope he gets the help he needs to overcome his illness.

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 10, 2:20 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I'm certainly not a mental health expert, but I do believe that PTSD can cause someone who suffers from it to do things that are not rational. If he does have PTSD, then I too, hope he gets the help he needs. If he doesn't, then he should be punished accordingly.

    Either way it doesn't excuse the waste of bacon. :)

  • Alex Wilson Jun 10, 2:11 p.m.
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    So no big surprise here, it’s another white male militant wanting to attack a house of worship. But, according to Donald Trump only Muslims are terrorist so does that mean he is now going to acknowledge and ban all white male militant groups as the true terrorist they have become. .

  • Tony Biancardi Jun 10, 2:00 p.m.
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    View quoted thread

    I don't think there is a form of PTSD that makes the person insult another's religion by putting out back, stockpile weapons and ammunition, single out a mosque, threaten to run over people, kill them and bury them behind the mosque.

  • Rachael Garner Jun 10, 1:28 p.m.
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    How scary for the people who worship there. Raleigh Rose I also wondered if this might be related to PTSD, especially since he showed up multiple times without acting. If that's the case I hope he gets the help he needs (and that so many Veterans do not receive).

  • Raleigh Rose Jun 10, 1:20 p.m.
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    Okay, what this guy did was wrong. Sounds like it might be a case of PTSD or too much right-wing media and not enough common sense. But, all that aside, WHO THROWS OUT PERFECTLY GOOD BACON?? Nothing is worth wasting bacon.

  • David Doucette Jun 10, 1:18 p.m.
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    Russ Langford has been married about 3 years and has a young daughter. Apparently, his bigotry was far more important to him than taking care of his family.

  • Jon Harrison Jun 10, 12:04 p.m.
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    If the gunman wanted to get inside and shoot people, I don't think he would need an invitation. It sounds like the chaplin tried to diffuse the situation, and it sounds like it was effective in that moment.

  • Marilyn Loftin Jun 10, 10:30 a.m.
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    I would never invite a gunman inside a place filled with people. Especially children. I think they knew each other.

  • Monty Smithers Jun 10, 8:21 a.m.
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    Sure, there's lots wrong with this story. Everything that the suspect did. But as to the chaplain that invited the gunman inside to talk: it was risky, but that's one tool the chaplain has. He didn't get hurt, so apparently it worked. There's not a lot else you can do in that situation, before the police get there.