Swastika stickers left at Idaho mosque

BOISE, Idaho — A few swastika-emblazoned stickers have been left on a mosque and another building in town, prompting a police investigation, officials said.

The stickers were reported Sunday as children arrived at the Islamic Center of Boise for Sunday school, said Furqan Mehmood, the center’s education director. The stickers were left on a door and other surfaces, apparently on Saturday afternoon, officials said.

Somali refugees who went to the mosque to pray that day noticed them but didn’t report them; they were unfamiliar with the swastika symbol and assumed they were benign, Mehmood said.

The stickers promoted Combat 18, a loosely organized neo-Nazi group that likely originated in Britain, officials said.

The incident violates Idaho’s felony malicious harassment law, said police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower. The stickers peeled off easily, leaving no damage.

In February, the stickers were found at a property management business, Hightower said. It is unclear why the business was targeted.

Associated Press, 9 March 2007

See also “CAIR asks FBI to probe Nazi vandalism of Idaho mosque”, CAIR press release, 10 March 2007