Anthrax hoax at London mosque

A package containing a suspicious white powder, offensive pictures of Muslim women and an anti-Islamic message was recently sent to the Imam of a mosque located in the Finsbury Park area of London.

Police found the substance to be harmless, but were forced to close the mosque and adjacent street, leaving about 150 who had turned up for morning prayers to watch and wait for the results, according to

“The letter was addressed to Imam Ahmad Saad, who opened it,” the mosque’s manager, Mohammed Kozbar, said, reports. “He was very scared because he saw the white powder, like anyone would be in that situation. Police closed the mosque for about four hours, and kept all the staff inside to test them for anthrax.”

This is not the first time the mosque has been targeted. Last July, vandals stuck a pig’s head on the mosque’s outside gates. The perpetrators were never caught, though they were visible on security cameras.

“Whoever sent the package is trying to isolate the community and undo all our hard work,” Kozbar said, according to “I would like to show them round the mosques and show them the good work we do.”

Police admitted that the incident could be related to others in the area, including one in the London Borough of Redbridge that occurred the following day.

“We are investigating malicious communications sent to a number of addresses in London and other parts of the U.K.,” a police spokesman said, reports. “The inquiry relates to suspicious but non-hazardous packages sent to mosques.”