The Latest: Series of mosque threats begins with bacon


RAEFORD, N.C. (AP) — The Latest on threats to a North Carolina mosque (all times local):

10:30 a.m.

A North Carolina sheriff says a series of threats to a mosque began when members noticed someone had left packages of bacon at the door.

Advocacy groups say pork is often used to insult Muslims because the meat isn’t allowed by the religion.

Hoke County Sheriff Hubert Peterkin said in a news release that a Chevrolet Tahoe was then seen departing the parking lot of the Raeford mosque. The vehicle then followed one of the members home.

The sheriff says the driver of the vehicle later made death threats to members of the mosque. Authorities found firearms and ammunition in the vehicle.

The suspect, identified as Thomas Russell Langford, has been charged with ethnic intimidation and assault with a deadly weapon, among other counts.

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10 a.m.

North Carolina sheriff’s deputies are investigating threatening incidents at a Hoke County mosque.

Sheriff’s Detective John Kivett confirmed Friday morning that a person was taken into custody.

Kivett was reviewing incident reports and did not have any more information immediately on the person who was in custody or the charges the person would face.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington said bacon was left at the mosque Thursday. A Muslim chaplain said a man showed a gun and said he wanted to blow up the mosque and later tried to run over several people.

This is the holy month of Ramadan.

No one was hurt.

The Washington council asked state police and the FBI to investigate as a possible hate crime.

Raeford is about 20 miles southwest of Fayetteville.

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