Findings from a preliminary FBI investigation into an online video of two men shooting a Quran and one of them throwing it on the ground outside a Chattanooga mosque will be turned over to federal prosecutors, an FBI agent said.
"The FBI has opened a preliminary (probe) to get the facts together," Gary Kidder, special agent with the FBI, said Tuesday. "There will have to be a decision from either the U.S. attorney's office or the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, as to whether the facts of this case trigger a federal (prosecution)."
The video, titled "kill the koran," was reported to federal authorities by a national Muslim advocacy group after it was posted on MySpace.com, an online network service, in June.
In the footage, a 33-year-old man, who identified himself as mully88, is shown outside a Barnes & Noble Booksellers store holding a paperback copy of the Quran. He and another man then are seen shooting at the holy book in a wooded area with what is identified as a Colt M-16. In the last scene, mully88 is seen throwing the damaged Quran onto the sidewalk outside the Islamic Center at 1410 Cemetery Ave.
Officials with the Islamic Center filed a complaint to local law enforcement last summer when the incident took place, said Khalid Hashmi, a spokesman for the Annour Islamic Center in Chattanooga, another mosque. More details of the incident became available through the online posting of the video, he said.