Police in Boston, Cambridge offer up patrol at mosques


Globe correspondents





Law enforcement officers have increased security and patrols at worship houses throughout the Friday state in monitoring the ongoing investigation of fatal shooting at two mosques in New Zealand.

These crews, who met opponents during prayer services in Christ, left at least 49 people dead and more than 20 others were seriously injured in the attack, officials said.

A 28-year-old man was arrested in Australia who said he had committed the assaults, and two more were kept in custody. The police are trying to find out how they could join.

In separate statements, district law enforcement agencies gave their sympathies to the victims and their families.

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In Massachusetts, there were no specific credible threats to Massachusetts, Maine, New Hampshire, or Rhode Island, according to Kristen M. Setera, a spokesman for Boston's Federal Bureau of Investigation office.


The FBI is closely monitoring the overseas situation and is in contact with its counterparts in the region, Setera said in a statement.

“Once we get any information from the attack, we will share it with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners,” she said.

The FBI argued that law enforcement and the public would remain vigilant, and anyone who sees a suspicious activity should report it to law enforcement, she said.

“Regular engagement, pro-active outreach and transparency are essential to maintaining positive community partnerships,” she said. “As usual, Boston FBI keeps in touch with community leaders to assess any concerns they may have.”

The State Police Division of Homeland Security is monitoring developments in the Christchurch mosque attacks, according to David Procopio, State Police spokesman, in a statement.

“Massachusetts State police park units will maintain their normal height levels of any suspicious activity in their patrol areas, and, where applicable, increase patrol frequency around mosques and other religious facilities,” said Procopio.

In Roxbury, Boston's Islamic Cultural Society will increase security after shooting, said Yusufi Vali, director of strategic relations and public affairs of the center.

Curators will be parked by Boston police outside the center, as well as at least one armed police officer in the building, Vali said. Additional security will last at least another day, he said.

“When these events happen, you don't want to change who they are. You want to be vigilant and not naive, ”Vali said in a telephone interview.

In a support show, Boston Mayor, Martin J. Walsh, Boston Police Commissioner William Gross, and a group of interdenominational leaders will attend Friday's services at 1 pm, said Vali.

Local leaders must “continue to send a message that has no place in hatred and violence in Boston and Massachusetts,” he said.

Vali said that the Muslim community supported the local Jewish community after shooting the dead Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October. In this shooting, Robert Gregory Bowers killed 11 people in the synagogue during worship services, the authorities said at the time.

“In Boston, we have to stick together,” said Vali. “That is our motto, on Boston Strong, '” said Vali.

Now, he said, Jewish leaders came out to support the local Muslim community.

“We are not to allow hatred and violence [to] bully us, ”said Vali.

Gross, police commissioner, rose patrol to mosques, temples, and every Friday's house of worship, Sergeant Detective John Boyle, department spokesman.

He said that the movements are precautionary, and there is no particular threat to Boston.

“We want to keep people safe at every religious worship house,” Boyle said in a telephone interview.

Nichole Mossalam, director of Medford Islamic Cultural Center, said that mosques leaders across the region are working to ensure safe feel of worship.

“We can't intimidate ourselves,” Mossalam said. “That is exactly what individuals do like this. If anything, we need to see this as an inspiration for dialogue, and for outreach, and to be in solidarity with everyone in our community. ”

In Cambridge, the Islamic Security Association in Boston is increasing security measures during Friday prayers and is working closely with Cambridge police, the ISB said in a statement sent to Facebook.

They said there was "no identifiable threat" against the ISB community, the statement said.

“Be careful and never be afraid [get] Themselves, ”said the ISB in the statement, which also asked worshipers to remember the victims and their families during prayers.

Cambridge police are speaking to leaders in the city's faith community after the shooting, the department said in a statement sent to Twitter.

“Places of worship should be places where everyone can come together without fear. As always, we will play our part in supporting this by giving more attention to our patrols and ongoing dialogue with religious leaders to ensure better peace of mind, ”Cambridge police said.

Lieutenant police Worcester, Merchant Seaman, said extra patrols were out on Friday, and officers were stopping at mosques and speaking to employees and promoters.

Wayland's Chief Police Officer, Patrick Swanick, said his patrol officers increased and assigned a cursor outside the Islamic Center in Boston, which is located in the town.

Aijaz Baloch, president of the Islamic Center for Boston, said that the center will increase security and intend to continue its normal activities, “a willing God.”

Swanick reached Friday morning the first mosque thing, he said.

“It's just a sign of support to let them be there,” said Swanick.

A number of local colleges and universities were successful following the seafarers to ensure that study students abroad were safe.

One student is studying abroad at Boston University at Canterbury University in Christchurch, and the student has been confirmed as safe, a spokesman said. There are seven other UK students studying at the University of Otago, more than four times drive from Christ, and the college was checking Friday morning to ensure they were fully accounted for.

There is a program at Boston University on the North Island of New Zealand, about 700 miles from Christchurch, with all its students there, the spokesman said. Overseas study students at BU during orientation for overseas programs are advised to check with their program office after any other natural or emergency disaster, the spokesman said.

A Northeast University spokesman said the school had confirmed that all its students in the region were safe. Representatives from Suffolk University and Emerson College said that no students are studying in New Zealand.

Lisa Wangsness from the Globe team contributed to this report. Related Press material was used in this report. John Hilliard can be found at john.hilliard@globe.com.

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