A national Islamic civil rights group is asking authorities to file federal charges against a man who allegedly fired dozens of shots at cars outside a Lansdale mosque Tuesday morning.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations, based in Washington, D.C., said the FBI should conduct a probe of the shooting at the North Penn Mosque, 600 Maple Ave.

On Tuesday, Lansdale police charged Robert Blackburn, 53, of 199 W. Vine St. in Hatfield Township with ethnic intimidation and related charges after he allegedly fired 52 shots into two cars parked at the mosque.

“When there’s an apparent bias motive, we always ask that the FBI be involved,” Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for the Islamic group, said Wednesday. “This sends a message nationwide that anti-Muslim bigotry and these motivated attacks won’t be tolerated.”

FBI agents can also add tremendous resources to the investigation that may not be available at the local level, Hooper said.

“An FBI investigation adds a sense of urgency to the investigation of the case and we feel that’s appropriate,” he said.


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