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Tempe Mosque Vandalism Decried

TEMPE - Muslim leaders and police spoke out against the latest attack at a Tempe mosque after vandals spray-painted the front door early Thursday.

A witness spotted two men painting the door of the mosque with a swastika, a thunderbolt-shaped "SS" and other Nazi symbols about 2 a.m. Deedra Abboud, director of the Council of American Islamic Relations in Arizona, said no one was in the building at the time, but surveillance videos may have recorded the suspects.

Abboud joined other Muslims and Tempe Police Chief Ralph Tranter on Thursday at a press conference outside the Islamic Cultural Center, where the mosque is housed near Sixth Street and Forest Avenue. This is the fifth incident of vandalism at the center this year. In July, vandals set fire to a car parked there, and the three other incidents also involved vehicles, Abboud said.

Police are looking for two men, 19 to 22 years old, who were seen in a faded red, 1970s pickup truck.

Tranter promised to increase patrols near the center, which is around the corner from the police station.

"This is as clear as you can get that a hate crime has occurred," Tranter said…

Anyone with information is urged to call Tempe police at (480) 350-8311.


Prayer Rooms for Muslim Students Ok'd

Wyoming Valley West School District has made an accommodation for two Muslim students whose parents requested they be provided with a place to pray.

Charles Suppon, director of pupil services at WVW, Tuesday acknowledged the parents of one student attending the State Street Elementary Center in Larksville and the parents of one student attending the Chester Street Middle School in Kingston, approached district officials and made the request.

Suppon said it was decided to seek out "a quiet place" where the students could gather and pray if they desired between 1 and 1:10 p.m. each day...


U.S. Admits Holding 10,000 Iraqi Prisoners

US officials have admitted they are holding 10,000 prisoners in Iraq, double the number previously reported, including six claiming to be Americans and two who say they are British.

"They didn't fit into any category," said Brigadier General Janis Karpinski of the 3,800 extra people who have now been classified as "security detainees..."

Asked if they had any rights or had access to their families or legal help while they were being "secured", she said: "It's not that they don't have rights ... they have fewer rights than EPWs (enemy prisoners of war)."

There were previously some 600 people classified as security detainees, so that category now numbers about 4,400, said General Karpinski.

There are 300 enemy prisoners of war, and about 5,300 criminals or suspected criminals in detention, making a rough total of 10,000, she added...


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