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Revere police investigate threatening, anti-Muslim notes

Police are investigating a series of threatening, anti-Muslim notes found near the Revere Beach MBTA station Tuesday morning.

Multiple messages were found in a snowbank close to the corner of Beach Street and North Shore Road in Revere, said Lieutenant Amy O’Hara, a Revere police spokeswoman.

“The matter is under investigation and we take it seriously,” O’Hara said in an e-mail.

On Twitter, local residents posted photos of the messages, which appeared to be photocopies of at least two different threats, handwritten in a scrawl mixing capital and lowercase letters.

One read, “We must kill all Muslims in America Destroy + burn all Koran books.” “All Muslims will be killed in America + Europe,” read part of another.

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Mayor Daniel Rizzo said Wednesday that the incident was “disturbing” because Revere is a diverse city where leaders and residents work to make people from all backgrounds feel at home.

“It’s very troubling when you know there’s a person out there that wants to spew that type of hate and to destroy something that the city has worked really hard for,” he said.

Rizzo said Police Chief Joseph Cafarelli and his officers are “doing everything they can to get to the bottom of it,” but that he and the chief do not believe the writer was likely to act on the threats.

“I believe this is just an isolated incident from some knucklehead that is just looking to stir something up that isn’t there,” he said.

A Muslim employee of the Massachusetts General Hospital Revere HealthCare Center, which is on Ocean Avenue in Revere, said that as she drove into work Tuesday morning, she saw fliers scattered across the roadway and adjacent snowbanks.

“They were all over the street,” she said.

“I was thinking it was for the snow, like to move the cars. . . . I didn’t know it was a threat to the Muslim community.”

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The 46-year-old, who is a clinical health professional at the facility, asked that her name be withheld because she feared for her safety.

“I don’t know who I’m dealing with. . . . I don’t know if it’s one of my patients,” she said.

Revere has a large Muslim community, the woman said, including many recent immigrants who cannot yet read English and understand the threats.

She said there are several Muslim-owned shops, restaurants, and a bakery near the MGH facility in Revere.

Any threat to the Muslims in those businesses would also be a threat to the non-Muslims who are also patrons, she said.

“They’re not targeting just Muslims; they’re targeting the community of Revere,” she said.

In a statement Wednesday, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, a national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, thanked Revere police for their prompt response to the messages.

“Given recent Islamophobic incidents nationwide, we urge community members to take all reasonable precautions in their daily activities and to report bias incidents,” said Ibrahim Hooper, national communications director for the council.


Jeremy C. Fox can be reached at jeremy.fox@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jeremycfox.