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Severed pig’s head left at mosque

By Michael Matza • Dec 8, 2015 at 7:00 PM

PHILADELPHIA — Local and federal authorities were investigating reports Monday that someone left a severed pig’s head at a North Philadelphia mosque.

An employee at the Al Aqsa Islamic Society mosque found the bloodied head when he arrived around 6 a.m. Monday.

Surveillance video at the site captured a red pickup truck that drove twice past the mosque just before 11 p.m. Sunday. On its second pass, someone threw an item from the passenger window, the video shows.

Pigs are considered insulting to Muslims who observe halal dietary laws.

Philadelphia police were interviewing potential witnesses Monday.

“We’ve got to be involved,” said officer Pete Berndlmaier of the 26th police district. “If they get away with doing something like that, they are going to up the ante.”

Marwan Kreidie, who as head of the Arab American Development Corp. maintains an office in the building, also reported the incident to the FBI.

“Attacks on any religious institution is an attack on all of us,” said Kreidie. “A pig’s head doesn’t do much. Could the next thing be a pipe bomb?”

Nabil Ibrahim Khalil, the caretaker at the mosque since it opened 23 years ago, said an anonymous caller left a voicemail after the Paris terror attacks last month in which he called Allah “a piece of pork s---.”

But he said he was unsure if the two incidents were related.

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©2015 The Philadelphia Inquirer

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