FBI raids Pittsburgh mosque

Armed FBI agents raided on Friday a North Side residence known to the Pittsburgh Islamic community as both an Islamic school and mosque, claiming they're searching of a man wanted on weapons charges in Utah.

 FBI raids Pittsburgh mosque

The raid, which took place at the Light of the Age Mosque, at the corner of Hemlock and Boyle streets, began around noon when U.S. authorities shut down the intersection of Boyle and Hemlock streets, according to Pittsburgh residents.

The three-story green house, located in the 1300 block of Boyle Street, is an Islamic education center led by Muslims who seek making the North Side a better place to live, worship, work and play.

It also houses the Sankore Institute, where people learn Qur'an as well as Islamic teachings.

It's not clear if anyone was taken into custody, but residents who witnessed the raid said several men dressed in traditional Muslim garb were taken out of the house and searched along Boyle Street.

According to Gigi Lincoln of Boyle Street, FBI agents searched each of the men extensively before they let police dogs walk past them.

The agents also used a robot to enter the building, she added.

FBI agents claimed they were searching for Larry M. Williams, wanted for possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon.

Last Tuesday, Utah Highway Patrol stopped Williams for driving a car, bearing California license plates, with a window tint that violates state law.

Police dogs detected the presence of narcotics in the vehicle but no drugs were found.

The police also found a 45-caliber handgun and 15 rounds of ammunition.

"It's scary to see guys with guns slung over their shoulders right in front of you," said Harold King, of Avalon, who was present at the time of the raid.

Members of the Muslim community in Pittsburgh stated that the center doesn't belong to the seven mosques under the auspices of the Islamic Council of Greater Pittsburgh.

On the opening day of the mosque earlier this year, fliers were distributed stating: "Greetings of Peace from your new Muslim neighbors....Please join us in clothing and feeding the poor...We believe in the God of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses, Jesus Christ and Muhammad."

Gail Jones called the Muslims "decent people," and Anthony Carboni said they were "some of the nicest people in the neighborhood."

Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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