The black-and-white footage is the work of a security camera trained on an entrance at the Salaam Mosque in northeast Minneapolis. It shows the image of a thick, bundled figure through a glass door.
He picks up something heavy and throws it through the glass. Then he rears back and fires again.
He's about to leave when he has second thoughts. He returns to punch and kick the remainder of the glass still in place.
There's not much to identify the assailant. He appears heavy-set, wrapped in winter wear, face obscured. But the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations seems fairly certain of his motive. It's asking Minneapolis police and the FBI to investigate the matter as a hate crime.
The civil rights group is familiar with such attacks. A few weeks back, Haarun Galbayte, a Somali immigrant and DoorDash driver, was assaulted by a Shorewood homeowner after making a delivery. The man told him to “go back where you came from,” though he's lived in Minnesota for 22 years and came from Eden Prairie.
Galbayte explained all this, but South Lake Minnetonka police nonetheless say Michael Anderson, 54, punched him three times through the window of his car. Anderson contends he was merely dissatisfied with the delivery.
Then there was the case of Harlan St. John, who was caught smashing the windows of East African businesses in south Minnneapolis in September. He was charged with a bias crime after telling police he “hates the Somalis.”
At this point, there's no telling the motive behind the latest attack. It could be the work of another Muslim-hater, or it could be the handiwork of a pissed-off drunk who merely decided to smash some windows on Central Avenue. Then again, history would strongly suggest the former.