Following Threat to Redmond Mosque, Police Heighten Security

The call came just 18 hours after the deadly attacks in Orlando.

MAPS in Redmond held a press conference Monday morning to discuss the threat the mosque received Sunday evening. Courtesy of MAPS

The Muslim Association of Puget Sound increased security at its Redmond mosque last night following an early evening report of a possible threat.

In a Monday press conference, MAPS president Mahmood Khadeer said he thinks the threat may have been related to the terrorist attacks in Orlando, which he condemned.

“I don’t have specific information about that,” he said. “But I think it is (related), after the Orlando tragedy.”

Sound Publishing is awaiting information from the Redmond Police Department as to whether the possible threat was associated with the early-Sunday attack, during which a single gunman pledging alegiance to ISIS took the lives of 50 people at a gay nightclub outside of Orlando.

It was more than 18 hours after that attack, at 6:32 p.m. on Sunday, that Redmond police received a call with information regarding a possible threat against MAPS.

Becky Range, public information officer for RPD, said the caller was male and refused to identify himself but told police that he had heard and knew about a threat of activities that might happen at the mosque later that evening, providing police with the address.

Range said the unidentified male called back about 20 minutes later with more information. She said he gave RPD information about the services at MAPS and a time frame of the events.

Khadeer said there were about 350 people—including children—present during that time.

Range said RPD then spoke with their partners and counterparts at other police departments in the area. RPD provided coverage at the mosque until its final service of the night, which ended around 3:20 a.m. Monday. In addition, Range said the Redmond Fire Department positioned some of its equipment in the nearby parking lot at Home Depot.

“It was just a precautionary measure,” Range said.

She said police worked with MAPS and they did not find anyone or anything suspicious. Yet, as the Islamic month of Ramadan continues and more events and activities are held, she said, RPD will remain vigilant. Ramadan ends July 5 and Range said RPD will increase its police presence around MAPS for the duration.

Redmond Mayor John Marchione later stated that the “City of Redmond is responsible for protecting all its residents. We will be vigilant in our police support of the Muslim Association of Puget Sound until we are certain that the threat is no longer valid and our investigation is complete.”

At the conference, Khadeer said police took all measures to ensure their protection and the protection of their facilities.

“We were extremely grateful to the officers of the Redmond Police Department,” said Khadeer at the press conference. “Their dedication and professionalism are truly remarkable and, on behalf of the whole Muslim community here, I would like to express my sincere thanks to Redmond Police Chief and her team.”

In response to the threat, MAPS has also increased its security. According to a letter from Khadeer that was posted to the mosque’s Facebook page on Sunday night, the mosque brought on private security personnel, in addition to the RPD officers.

“In addition, we are implementing immediate security measures—only the front door will be opened,” Khadeer wrote in the letter. “The leadership is in contact with several law enforcement agencies.”

He ended the letter stating that all of MAPS’ programs would go on as planned.

spak@soundpublishing.com

A version of this story originally appeared in the Redmond Reporter.

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