(ANAHEIM, CA – 4/17/2019) – The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-LA), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today condemned an anonymous bomb threat made Tuesday afternoon against its office.
A woman, who did not identify herself, called CAIR-LA at approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday and asked for the name of the organization. When the caller was told she had contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, she said:
“I’m going to bomb the (expletive) building up.”
The threat prompted CAIR-LA staff to call the Anaheim Police Department to investigate. The police evacuated the building, swept the building for threats and cleared the building for tenants to return. No bomb was found.
The Anaheim Police Department is investigating the incident.
In a statement, CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush said:
“We are thankful to God that our staff, interns, volunteers and other building tenants are safe. We appreciate the vigilance of the Anaheim Police Department.”
The bomb threat on the organization’s office comes on the heels of a similar threat made less than a month prior against the hotel hosting CAIR-LA’s fourth Annual Valley Banquet, featuring Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
According to celebrity news site The Blast, the Hilton Woodland Hills hotel, site of the banquet held on March 23, received an anonymous phone call from a woman calling from a blocked number threatening to bomb the hotel over allowing CAIR-LA to host Omar (D-MN), one of the first two American Muslim women elected to Congress.
READ: Congresswoman Ilhan Omar Target of Bomb Threat at Muslim-American Event in Los Angeles
Upon receiving the threat on March 19 – less than a week before the banquet – hotel representatives reported the call to police. The caller allegedly left a message saying:
“What would you do if I told you your hotel was going to be bombed? That is exactly what’s going to happen if you allow the likes of Ilhan Omar into your hotel. She is a danger to American society and your hotel. You are not to allow her foot into there if you value your own safety. Do not allow her in there. Cancel the event.”
On Monday, April 15, Rep. Omar said she has experienced an increase in death threats after President Donald Trump’s inflammatory tweet featuring video of Omar’s speech at the banquet.
SEE: Rep. Ilhan Omar says she has experienced increase in death threats
In a statement, Ayloush condemned the normalization of hate speech:
“As anti-Muslim hate has exponentially increased over the past few years, we have warned against the danger of how normalizing hate speech leads into hate threats and hate attacks. The increase in threats and violence are the direct result of irresponsible attacks from the highest levels made against Rep. Omar and other members of marginalized communities. It is not hard to connect the bigoted tweet from President Trump, which attempted to link Ilhan Omar and CAIR-LA to the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks and was viewed by 10.5 million people, to this threat against our office.
“This has been most recently witnessed in the amount of death threats increasing against Rep. Omar, as well as the massacre of 50 people at mosques in New Zealand by a white supremacist who, in his manifesto, lauded President Trump’s policies. It happened less than a month ago in Escondido, California – a suburb of San Diego – when someone attempted to burn a mosque down, leaving a note referencing New Zealand.”
Ayloush urged anyone with information to contact the Anaheim Police Department at 714-765-1900.
“There is a difference between using your First Amendment right to express your opposition to an organization and threatening violence. Threatening harm to innocent people is absolutely unacceptable,” he said. “We will not allow hatred and fear-mongering to prevail.”
CAIR-LA is Southern California’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice and empower American Muslims.
CONTACT: CAIR-LA Communications Manager Eugene W. Fields, 714-776-1847