An Iraqi resident of a Westbrook apartment complex on Wednesday reported finding a threatening, anti-Muslim message on a slip of paper in the complex.

A resident of the Westbrook Pointe complex at 26 Prospect St. made the report about 10:20 a.m., after finding a typewritten message that said “All Muslims are Terrorists should be Killed.” The message was on a hand-cut strip of paper roughly 2 inches high by 8½ inches wide.

Officers canvassing the complex discovered another, identical strip of paper on the ground, and learned that two others were found by Iraqi residents of the complex who have not come forward.

“There is no evidence that there’s a credible threat to people’s safety,” Chief Janine Roberts said at a news conference Wednesday. “Other than these pieces of paper that were found with this one message, there is no evidence that there is anybody lying in wait.”

The department said they are taking the threats seriously, however, and are planning to meet with Muslim residents Thursday at 5 p.m. to answer questions and assuage fears.

As of Wednesday night, Roberts said police have no suspects and are urging anyone with information about the threats to speak with Westbrook detectives.


The threats come two days after federal court documents unsealed in Portland revealed that Adnan Fazeli, 38, an Iranian refugee who most recently lived in Freeport, became radicalized while living in Maine and then traveled to Lebanon to fight with Islamic State. Fazeli died in a fight against Lebanese forces in that country.

“It is unknown if these threats are connected to the recent media coverage of Adnan Fazeli,” Roberts said in a news release. She acknowledged that police were aware that Fazeli had lived at the complex for a period of time until 2012, when he and his wife were evicted, according to state court records. No further information on the eviction or Fazeli’s time at the apartment complex was available Wednesday.

The FBI were investigating whether others helped Fazeli with his plans, but closed the investigation without filing any charges. The court records unsealed on Monday described the investigation for the first time.

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has developed a strong recruiting effort online for its terrorist state, which has gained control of parts of Iraq and Syria as Syria’s civil war has spilled across national borders, including into Lebanon. The effort has drawn disaffected foreigners from many countries, including the United States, who are ideologically motivated to fight for its fundamentalist, violent cause.

After the investigation into Fazeli was disclosed publicly this week, it drew attention from across the country and triggered sharp responses from Gov. Paul LePage and Rep. Bruce Poliquin, 2nd District, who criticized the refugee vetting process, and blamed President Obama’s administration for failing to weed out radical Islamic sympathizers.

Roberts said her department is aware of four threatening slips of paper, but the police have only two. They are asking anyone who may have found other such messages to call police.


Because the pieces of paper were dry when found, Roberts believes they were distributed sometime Wednesday morning, after Tuesday night’s rain.

One of the messages was reportedly left on a car, but Roberts said it was unknown whether it was directed at a specific individual.

Two residents at the complex said they were relatively unfazed by the threats.

Mohammed Mohammed, 50, who immigrated from Mosul, Iraq, and has lived at the complex for two years, said other Muslim families have been cautious after the threats, but he does not believe anyone would attempt to hurt them.

“I don’t believe everything, because most people in Maine and the United States are nice,” said Mohammed, who fled Iraq because he worked for the U.S. military and feared he would be killed if he had stayed. “Everything is good here.”

Another resident, Othman Sabia, saw one of the messages in the street, but paid it little mind, and suggested it was a teenager’s prank.

“Over here, it is safe,” said Sabia, 33. “I don’t think something is going to happen.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact the city’s anonymous tip line at 591-8117.


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