Islamic Center of Twin Falls vandalized: TFPD considering it a hate crime

Published: Dec. 7, 2015 at 6:29 PM MST
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For the second time, the Islamic Center of Twin Falls has been vandalized.

On Saturday night unknown individuals spray-painted the doors and windows of the Islamic Centers new building.

Two words and a question mark: "Hunt Camp?”

It's not clear what these individuals were implying, but the local Islamic community says they have already put the incident behind them.

"We do have a zero tolerance policy, and we won't permit acts like this to go un-investigated," said Lieutenant Terry

Thueson with the Twin Falls Police Department.

Red flowers and gray paint now cover–up what was done.

We reached out the Islamic Center of Twin Falls regarding this newest act of vandalism. Officials there denied our request to go on camera, but were willing to talk about it over the phone.

A representative says this newest act of vandalism happened sometime in the late hours of Saturday night or early Sunday morning.

"Right now it falls under the code of malicious harassment, which is tied to a hate crime, it's a felony, and that's what it's being investigated as,” said Thueson.

As for the message; “Hunt Camp?”

It could refer to the Minidoka Internment Camp, which was where thousands of Japanese’s American’s were forcefully held during World War 2.

It's not clear what these individuals meant by the message. The center has denied to comment on their interpretation of the message.

"We are taking a very aggressive position from our organization standpoint for crimes of this nature. Again... crimes based on the intent to intimidate or vandalize or maliciously harass individuals based on their religion are just unacceptable and won't be tolerated in our community,” said Thueson.

The TFPD says they are working to identify those responsible behind this act of vandalism.

If found guilty, those who perpetrated the act could face up to five years in the state prison.

Anyone with information on this crime is encourage to contact the Twin Falls Police Department at 735-4357.