San Diego Area Mosques Tighten Security After Arson Sunday

San Diego Area Mosques Tighten Security After Arson Sunday

San Diego’s mosques have tightened security following an arson attack at a mosque in Escondido, Calif., early Sunday morning.

San Diego’s mosques have tightened security following an arson attack at a mosque in Escondido, Calif., early Sunday morning.

The Islamic Center of Escondido was set on fire at about 3 a.m. Sunday, but a group of worshippers inside were able to put out the fire before it could cause any significant damage. When authorities arrived, they found graffiti referencing the recent shootings at New Zealand mosques.

On Monday afternoon, there were two San Diego Police Department patrol cars in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of San Diego. Directors said worshippers are nervous about security threats.

"They accept the faith of what happened, others are very, you know, worried as well. It's a mixed mood," said Khelil Ouznali, vice chair of the board of directors.

The Islamic Center already has surveillance cameras in place and guards on duty, but directors are now considering hiring armed guards to patrol.

"We are looking into improving security, you know, we are looking into different options based on the feedback from our community," Ouznali said.

Dustin Craun, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), told CBS8 that with the increased threat lately to the Muslim community, each mosque is taking its own security into consideration.

“Most of the mosques have some security and or apparatus in place and they might be stepping it up a little – but those are different conversations at the mosques,” Craun said.

About the Author

Jessica Davis is the Associate Content Editor for 1105 Media.

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