Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

December 20, 2013

U.S. Attorney confirms FBI will investigate vandalism at Islamic worship center near Princeton.

Associated Press

PRINCETON — A federal prosecutor says his office has joined the sheriff’s department in Mercer County in an investigation into vandalism at an Islamic worship center near Princeton.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Friday that the vandalism at the Islamic Society for the Appalachian Region “violates our country’s most sacred values.”

Goodwin says the U.S. attorney’s office and the FBI will work with local authorities and “will pursue this matter aggressively.”

Mercer County sheriff’s Deputy E.P. Parks tells The Bluefield Daily Telegraph the vandalism involves anti-Islamic sentiments spray painted late Sunday or early Monday.

Islamic center leader Abdul Piracha says the slurs were found on the worship center’s exterior and on a sign.

Piracha says the center also was targeted after the 9/11 attacks on New York City and Washington.