For all the talk about al-Qaeda regrouping, elevated threat levels and allegations by local law enforcement that seeks to tie almost every Arabic criminal suspect to terrorism, the fact of the matter is the only victims of terrorism in Greater Cincinnati since 9/11 so far have been Muslims.

It’s been 19 months since someone planted two bombs next to adjoining entrances at a mosque in Clifton on a cold December night in 2005 and the devices exploded. Although the bombs caused some damage to the building, no one was inside at the time and there were no injuries.

The disturbing incident at the Islamic Association of Cincinnati rallied residents in the mostly liberal neighborhood and across the region. More than two dozen religious leaders from various faiths, along with prominent civic officials, gathered at the mosque the next day to denounce the violent act.

Despite pledges of support — as well a $15,000 award by the FBI for any information that leads to an arrest — the crime remains unsolved nearly two years later. Local Muslims hold little hope that the area’s Joint Terrorism Task Force will ever make an arrest in the case.

“It’s been quite a while,” says Karen Dabdoub, director of the Ohio office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. “It’s very disappointing that the crime hasn’t been solved and there hasn’t been any progress.”

Asked whether the task force has indicated it’s working on any leads, Dabdoub says, “It’s hard to know. They don’t share information with us.”

But the FBI, which heads the task force, insists the case is a priority.

“We are still investigating,” says FBI Special Agent Michael Brooks. “It’s an open investigation. There’s been no charges filed as of yet, but we are actively investigating.”


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