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Goodwin joins probe into vandalism at mosque

PRINCETON, W.Va. -- A federal prosecutor says his office has joined the Mercer County Sheriff's Department in an investigation into vandalism at an Islamic worship center near Princeton.

U.S. Attorney Booth Goodwin said Friday that the vandalism at the Islamic Society for the Appalachian Region "violates our country's most sacred values."

Goodwin said the U.S. Attorney's Office and the FBI will work with local authorities and "will pursue this matter aggressively."

Mercer County Sheriff's Deputy E.P. Parks said the vandalism involves anti-Islamic sentiments spray painted late Sunday or early Monday.

Islamic center leader Abdul Piracha said the slurs were found on the worship center's exterior and on a sign.

Piracha said the center also was targeted after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York City and Washington.


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