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Chicago Mosques, Police Focused On Security After Attack At Canadian Mosque

By Kelly Bauer | January 30, 2017 8:53am
 Chicago Police plan to give
Chicago Police plan to give "special attention" to mosques after an attack on one in Canada.
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DOWNTOWN — Chicago Police will give "special attention" to mosques after an attack in Canada killed six people.

Gunmen opened fire inside a mosque in Quebec City, Canada, on Sunday night, killing six people and wounding eight. Two people were arrested, and Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, called the mass shooting a terrorist attack, according to The New York Times.

There was no known threat in Chicago, police said in a post on Twitter, but the Police Department was focusing on mosques and surrounding areas. Officers will periodically check on mosques and look for anything out of the ordinary, police said.

Chicago police have not reached out to the Council on American Islamic Relations, which works with mosques, said spokeswoman Hoda Katebi, but the organization's executive director was meeting with imams throughout the city to discuss security plans on Monday morning.

“This is definitely something that we are concerned about and are always concerned about,” Katebi said. “We are, more than ever, committed to fighting, challenging bigotry and making sure that we keep our people safe.”

The organization "frequently" gets death threats and is harassed in letters, through voicemail and on social media, Katebi said, and there has been a rise in hate crimes against Muslims.

The heightened attention also comes as weekend protests rocked airports across the United States — including O'Hare — after President Donald Trump signed executive orders that barred refugees and people from seven Muslim-majority countries from being able to enter the U.S.

Katebi said there have not been new threats over the weekend, but her organization regularly gets "our fair share of harassment."