Council on American-Islamic Relations says Anaheim office received a bomb threat; no device found
ANAHEIM — The Greater Los Angeles Area office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations reported Wednesday that someone phoned in a bomb threat to its Anaheim headquarters.
A woman, who did not identify herself, called the CAIR-LA office about 3 p.m. Tuesday and asked for the name of the organization. When told she had contacted the Council on American-Islamic Relations, she said, “I’m going to bomb the (expletive) building up,” according to Executive Director Hussam Ayloush
CAIR officials said in a news release on the group’s website they called Anaheim police, who evacuated the building and swept it for any potential threats before allowing tenants to return. No bomb was found. Anaheim police were investigating.
“Like any other threat, we take it seriously,” police Sgt. Luis Correa told the Southern California News Group on Wednesday. “We’ll continue contact with the office to make sure nothing gets missed.”
Said Ayloush: “We are thankful to God that our staff, interns, volunteers and other building tenants are safe. We appreciate the vigilance of the Anaheim Police Department.”
A similar threat was made on March 19, four days before Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minnesota, who is Muslim, appeared at the organization’s fourth annual Valley Banquet at the Hilton hotel in Woodland Hills, CAIR officials said.
According to CAIR, that caller said, “What would you do if I told you your hotel was going to be bombed? That is exactly what’s going to happen if you allow the likes of Ilhan Omar into your hotel. She is a danger to American society and your hotel. You are not to allow her foot into there if you value your own safety. Do not allow her in there. Cancel the event.”
Ayloush lamented the “normalization” of hate speech against Muslims.
“As anti-Muslim hate has exponentially increased over the past few years, we have warned against the danger of how normalizing hate speech leads into hate threats and hate attacks,” he said. “The increase in threats and violence are the direct result of irresponsible attacks from the highest levels made against Rep. Omar and other members of marginalized communities. It is not hard to connect the bigoted tweet from President Trump, which attempted to link Ilhan Omar and CAIR-LA to the horrific 9/11 terrorist attacks and was viewed by 10.5 million people, to this threat against our office.”
Southern California News Group reporter Brian Rokos contributed to this report.