Boston police boost security around mosques
Some local mosques reviewed security plans while the Boston Police Department posted officers near mosques Monday following a terrorist attack Sunday that left at least six people dead at a Quebec City Islamic center.
Although Boston-area Muslim leaders noted that the motive in the Canadian shootings was still unclear, they said they remained vigilant about security and were monitoring the evolving story.
“A couple of mosques have talked about increased security in light of this, but most in the last year have already bumped up security measures as robustly as they are able,” said John Robbins, executive director of the Massachusetts chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.
He said law enforcement officials across the state have been “outstanding” in their efforts to help keep mosques safe. The council also offers basic safety advice for mosques.
Yusufi Vali, executive director of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center in Roxbury, said a security team at the city’s largest mosque has already been working on amping up security. The challenge, he said, is money. The proceeds of a mosque fund-raiser Feb. 11 may be channeled toward hiring more security guards and buying more cameras, he said.
“It was just going to be an overall fund-raiser; now, I think we need to raise money for security,” he said.
Vali said the mosque had done active-shooter training previously but may do another soon with law enforcement and a broader array of participants.
In a brief statement, Boston police said there was no indication mosques here were facing threats. Because Canadian authorities said they believe the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre was the target of a terror attack, however, police were boosting security around religious centers here.
“The Boston Police Department has been in contact with our local mosques and will increase visibility and patrols in the area of those locations,’’ Boston police wrote in a statement.
Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau called the Quebec City shooting a terrorist act.
More than 50 people were at the Quebec Islamic Cultural Centre when the shooting erupted Sunday night, the Associated Press reported.
In addition to the six who died, five were in critical condition Monday and 12 others suffered minor injuries, a spokeswoman said.
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