Molotov Cocktails Hurled at Mosque, Hindu Temple and Bodega in Queens

NY Post - January 02, 2012


Molotov cocktails made from Starbucks glass bottles were hurled at three sites in Queens last night, including a mosque with 100 people inside, a Hindu Temple and a bodega.

Cops were investigating whether a nearby fire that caused major damage to a private home was also part of the frightening pattern.

One attack damaged the front door of the Al-Khoei Benevolent Foundation on the Van Wyck Expressway in Jamaica at 8:45 p.m.

"We were having a gathering tonight, spending some time with members of the mosque after a service, and someone alerted us that there was a fire outside," said Maan Alsahlani, the mosque's minister of religion. "There wasn't too loud of an explosion, but it seemed that there were like two or three small bombs thrown at the door.

"It's frightening, but we have cameras everywhere. We have to worry a little bit, but we have the police here and they will find out who did this."

Cops recovered the Molotov cocktail, which contained an unknown accelerant.

About 45 minutes earlier, an explosive was thrown inside a bodega on Hillside Avenue and 180th Street, damaging the counter. It too, was constructed using a Starbucks bottle.

At 10:45 p.m., two bottles were tossed at a private home, which also serves as a Hindu Temple, on 170th Street near 89th Avenue, cops said. They fizzled out before igniting.

In the incident that's not clearly linked to the Molotov cocktails, a home on 107th Avenue caught fire at 8:10 p.m. and was badly damaged.

Investigators deemed the blaze suspicious, but did not immediately find an accelerant.

There were no injuries in any of the incidents.

Cops were looking into whether the fires were hate crimes.

Additional reporting by Larry Celona