BIRMINGHAM, Ala. – Authorities are trying to determine whether at least two Alabama mosque burglaries might be linked to a similar case in Virginia.
Surveillance photos taken earlier this month during mosque break-ins in the east Alabama cities of Anniston and Gadsden show a man who appears similar to a person whose image was captured during a similar burglary in Blacksburg, Virginia.
A thief targeted donation boxes containing cash in each case. The FBI has sent a message to members of the Muslim community in Alabama saying the cases could be linked.
There's no immediate word of any possible connection with another mosque burglary earlier this week in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.
The leader of the Birmingham Islamic Center, Ashfaq Taufique, hopes the cases are run-of-the-mill thefts instead of an act of hate. But he says either is possible.