Hate crimes unit investigating after white powder sent to 2 Edmonton mosques

·1 min read
The Rahma Mosque in southwest Edmonton was one of two mosques to receive packages with white powder over the past week.  (Nathan Gross/CBC - image credit)
The Rahma Mosque in southwest Edmonton was one of two mosques to receive packages with white powder over the past week. (Nathan Gross/CBC - image credit)

Edmonton Police Service's hate crimes and violent extremism unit is investigating after packages containing an unknown white powder were sent to two mosques over the last week.

Police said in a news release Thursday that the first package was sent to Islamic Shia Ithna-Asheri Centre at 43rd Street and 33rd Avenue on April 15. The second arrived on Thursday at the Rahma Mosque near 61st Avenue and 172nd Street.

The powder was deemed innocuous after investigation by police.

The National Council of Canadian Muslims said an employee of the mosque at last Friday's incident got white powder over their skin and clothes after opening the package.

The package received on Thursday also spread powder when it was opened.

The NCCM said the white powder appeared to be an attempt to generate fear over possible exposure to anthrax.

Said Omar is the organization's Alberta advocacy officer. He said it is distressing that the incidents occurred during Ramadan when mosques are full.

"It seems that they are trying to inflict fear on the Muslim community," Omar said. "All we can do at this point is wait for the police investigation to be carried out and hopefully this individual is caught."

The organization is asking anyone who gets a suspicious package to contact police.

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