Man Who Fired at Philadelphia Mosque Charged with �Ethnic Intimidation�

November 9, 2005

Source: 6ABC

Wire Service: AP

On November 9, 2005 the Associated Press reported, "A man who allegedly fired dozens of shots into cars parked at a suburban Philadelphia mosque was charged with ethnic intimidation, police said. Robert Blackburn, 53, of Hatfield, used a .22-caliber rifle to shoot up two cars in the parking lot of the North Penn Mosque early Tuesday, police said. 'He's not known to us,' said Shams Huda, who works with the mosque. 'I don't think we've ever seen him before... No one was outside, thank God. This is very serious.'

One car belonged to a religious leader at the mosque and another to a member, mosque vice president Abdul Hannan said. The two cars... took a combined 52 shots, authorities said.

Police responded after hearing the shots at about 3:45 a.m... The mosque has reported about a half-dozen minor harassment incidents in the past year, such as trespassing on the roof or throwing eggs, Hannan said.

'From our point of view, we need to have more dialogue with people so they know what we are,' he said."