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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Anti-Muslim Hate Crime? Woman Says She Was Followed by Car, Pepper-Sprayed Near Ohio Mosque

A Muslim group says a 20-year-old Somali immigrant reported being attacked with pepper spray outside an Ohio mosque, and that the attacker told her to leave the country.

The FBI says it will likely open a civil rights investigation.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said the attack happened Monday afternoon near the Abubaker Siddique Islamic Center, according to CBS affiliate WBNS.

Saida Said, 20, told authorities that she first noticed a man who appeared to be watching and following her, the station reported.

"I had a bad feeling about the man while I was driving," she said. "He looked at me in a very strange way."

According to Said, the man followed her to the Islamic Center, where he got out of his vehicle and approached her.

"He just started yelling at me, cursing me out," she told WBNS. "Saying he's going to kill me, and saying, 'I'm going to kill all of you, all you guys. Tell the Muslims to go back from wherever they are from.'"

Said, who was wearing traditional Islamic attire, said the man then used pepper spray on her.

"He took the spray and just sprayed it all over me," she said. "Like, all over me. My whole eyes, my whole face, everything."

The Columbus chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says a mosque security camera recorded the assault.

Columbus police say officers interviewed Said Tuesday morning. FBI spokesman Mike Brooks says the results of its investigation would be turned over to prosecutors for possible charges.




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