In recent months, we have seen a spike in hate crimes fueled by Islamophobia and anti-Muslim sentiment due to the current political climate. Unfortunately, the threats against the Muslim community only seem to be getting worse.
On Oct. 19, 40-year-old Mark Feigin was arrested for allegedly making terrorist threats against the Islamic Center of Southern California. Feigin began making threatening calls to the center back in September, leaving vulgar messages in which he made his hatred for Islam clear.
The Los Angeles Police Department announced on Tuesday that Feigin had been charged with making the threats, and that a number of weapons—including rifles, shotguns, and handguns, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition—were found in Feigin’s Agoura Hills home.
In a second phone call to the Islamic center, Feigin threatened the man who answered the call. He claimed that he would kill him and other members at the center, emphasizing again his hatred of Muslims and his belief that “they will destroy the United States.”
Feigin had been charged with making the threats, and that a number of weapons—including rifles, shotguns, and handguns, as well as thousands of rounds of ammunition—were found in Feigin’s Agoura Hills home.
These overt threats prompted the Major Crimes Division to obtain a search and arrest warrant for Feigin, who was arrested without incident. It was at that time that authorities found the extensive number of firearms, high capacity magazines and ammunition in Feigin’s possession.
LAPD Police Commander Horace Frank said that “the department will pursue hate crimes with the same vigor that we would a homicide.”
However, despite this statement, Mark Feigin has been released and is currently out on bail. The Islamic Center of Southern California has obtained a restraining order against Feigin and increased its security to protect the facility, which includes an elementary school.
Omar Ricci, a spokesman for the center, said that, while the members of the center are shaken, threats like Feigin’s are not unusual. Ricci said the center usually gets a lot of angry phone calls after high-profile terrorist attacks like San Bernardino and Orlando.
“Unfortunately, in today’s political climate–such hate is not uncommon,” Ricci said.
Mark Feigin’s next court appearance is set for Nov. 10.