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Driver Slams Car Into Mosque in Ohio

PARMA, Ohio - A 29-year-old man smashed his car through the entrance of a mosque early on Monday, police said, in another assault on Muslims in the United States apparently linked to last week's deadly hijack attacks.
PARMA, Ohio (Reuters) - A 29-year-old man smashed his car through the entrance of a mosque early on Monday, police said, in another assault on Muslims in the United States apparently linked to last week's deadly hijack attacks.

Police said Eric Richley of Middleburg Heights, Ohio, hurtled his car at 80 mph through the front of the center shortly after midnight, landing on top of a fountain inside the unoccupied mosque.

Richley was taken to a hospital, where his condition was not immediately disclosed.

A spokesman for the Islamic Center of Greater Cleveland, which sustained more than $100,000 in damages, said it had received numerous threats and had added extra security since last week's deadly attacks on New York and Washington.

U.S. investigators say Saudi-born militant Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) and radical cells associated with him are prime suspects in the attacks.

Parma is an ethnically diverse community of 87,000 located just south of Cleveland.

The weekend shooting deaths of a Pakistani grocer in Dallas and a Sikh employee of a Mesa, Arizona, gas station were being investigated as hate crimes by the FBI. Three mosques in Dallas have been hit by bullets and homemade firebombs, and several telephoned threats have been received by Muslim sites and schools.
 
 

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