RealNews

Possible hate crimes investigated

Federal authorities Tuesday investigated whether a Palestinian Muslim family was the victim of a possible hate crime explosion that damaged their van late Friday night. The blast shattered the vehicle’s windows and blew open a door but no one was injured. Police in the suburb southwest of Chicago said a powerful fireworks-type device caused extensive damage to the 1989 Ford Econoline van, shaking doors and windows of neighboring homes. Authorities were investigating the incident as a possible hate crime. The FBI said it was investigating five other incidents. “In Chicago in the past couple of weeks, we’ve seen an increase in these kinds of crimes,” FBI Special Agent William Billings said. “Right now, we’re looking into pretty much everything just to make sure. We want to be responsible to the community.” Billings told the Chicago Sun-Times the family of alleged Islamic Jihad member Ghassan Zayed Ballut had received four threats in the mail and a window had been broken in their Tinley Park home. Full Story

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