Laurel police investigate graffiti as hate crime

'Terrorist murderer' painted on Indian's car

September 21, 2001|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

The words "Terrorist murderer" were spray-painted on a car belonging to an Indian immigrant living in Laurel, according to police, who are investigating the matter as a hate crime related to last week's terrorist attacks.

The car's four tires were slashed and its windshield was smashed Wednesday at an apartment complex in the 800 block of Eighth St., said Jim Collins, spokesman for Laurel police.

Across the country, Muslims, Arab-Americans and people mistaken for them because of their style of dress have faced harassment and violence since the terrorist attacks Sept. 11, in which Osama bin Laden, an exiled Saudi millionaire and radical Muslim, is a prime suspect.

Collins said police are bracing for more hate crimes in Laurel, particularly because several of the hijackers are believed to have stayed in North Laurel motels in the days and weeks before the attacks.

"The citizens are reacting the wrong way," Collins said. "Don't retaliate against a certain race and religion. Let the FBI do their job."

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