Mosque ‘bomber,’ under investigation by cops, changes story

Sheepshead Bay mosque is back on
Photo by Paul Martinka

A would-be bomber’s threats to blow up a mosque slated for Voorhies Avenue have fizzled like a wet firecracker after an apparent investigation by anti-terror cops.

After reading his own words in our article last week about the heated protest against the house of worship, the bomber called us and altered his statement.

“I don’t care [about the mosque],” said the man, who again refused to divulge his name. “If they build it, I will just sell my home and move.”

He blamed “personal problems” for his vitriol.

His cowering mea culpa was a far cry from the outrageous statement he said at a June 27 anti-mosque rally sponsored by the group Bay People at the site between East 28th and East 29th streets.

“If they build a mosque there,” he said. “I’m going to bomb the mosque. I will give them a lot of trouble. They’re not going to stay here alive.”

The “bomber’s” change in tune came after three NYPD detectives went door to door on Voorhies Avenue, looking for information on his bomb threat.

“They were from some anti-terrorism task force,” recalled resident Steve Peskin, who lives across the street from the proposed mosque. “They rang my bell at 10:15 pm. I told them that they were going to wake people up, but they didn’t care.“

Sources from the 61st Precinct said they did not dispatch detectives to Voorhies Avenue.

“We’re not investigating the threat since nothing has been built there yet,” the source said.

But at least one group took the threat seriously.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations said it contacted the FBI, local elected officials and the NYPD, requesting an investigation into the threat.

“New York City mosques and centers are a reflection of a well-integrated Muslim community,” said council spokesman Faiza Ali, who called the comments “hatred against an entire religious minority.”

Peskin said many of his neighbors are now fearing a backlash from Muslim groups over what was reported about the rally — though he admitted that intolerance was aired at the rally.

“I can’t control what people are saying [and] you can’t classify everybody as racist,” he said. “It was a very emotional rally.”

Longtime Sheepshead Bay resident Ahmed Allowey hopes to construct a four-story building on the vacant plot. Plans filed last August show that the mosque will occupy the first two floors, while the third and fourth floors will be classrooms and a library.

The city disapproved the plans late last year.

Allowey has not called us back.

This is the site of the proposed mosque
Photo by Paul Martinka