Group asks FBI to probe threats posted on Web

By Matthew Barakat

Associated Press

Published: Friday, Nov. 25 2011 4:50 p.m. MST

FALLS CHURCH, Va. — A Muslim civil rights group on Friday asked the FBI to investigate a series of threatening posts on an anti-Islam website.

The threats posted by visitors to the Bare Naked Islam website include a post from one person who urges Christians to "kill every Muslim twice" and mentions that he routinely drives by a specific northern Virginia mosque. Another recommends blowing up mosques.

In making the request, Council for American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said the Internet is replete with hateful commentary about Muslims. But he said these comments differ because they routinely contain explicit calls for violence.

"The Internet is a cesspool of bigoted speech, but this is something else entirely," Hooper said.

The Bare Naked Islam site depicts flames superimposed over a mosque and declares: "It isn't Islamophobia when they really ARE trying to kill you." In an email, the site's author, who identified herself as a New York City resident named Bonni, said she tries to delete comments that call for genocide against Muslims. But she said she does not consider a threat to be explicit unless it targets a specific individual.

"Wishing for all mosques to be blown up is not a threat in my opinion. Certainly not any different than you see all over the signs at Occupy Wall Street where they call for the killing of all bankers and Jews. Nobody stops them and the media defend those threats as Free Speech," Bonni wrote in her email.

She said she supports closing all mosques in the U.S. but does not advocate their destruction. She said the commenters who recommend violence against Muslims are usually responding to violence perpetrated by Muslims.

FBI spokeswoman Lindsay Godwin said Friday that the bureau does not confirm when it receives a complaint or a request to investigate. But she said that generally, the FBI will pursue an investigation "if credible threats and evidence exist."

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