PATERSON — Threats to the mosque where New York terror attack suspect Sayfullo Saipov may have worshipped have prompted a call for an investigation.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations' New Jersey chapter called on state and federal law enforcement to investigate several threats phoned into to the Masjid Omar Mosque in this city.

“We urge local, state and federal law enforcement authorities to treat this and all the other cases of threats and violence targeting American mosques with the seriousness they deserve and to bring the perpetrators to justice. We ask that law enforcement officials be especially vigilant at a time when the risk of backlash against the Muslim community is most severe," CAIR New Jersey Executive Director Jim Sues said in a statement.

The Masjid Omar Mosque is the largest in North Jersey. Paterson is home to the second largest Muslim American population in the country.

Police said Saipov drove a Home Depot rental truck down a bike path in lower Manhattan on Tuesday afternoon, killing eight people, including Darren Drake, 32, of New Milford.

Along with the Islamic Center of Passaic County and the Muslim Community of New Jersey in Piscataway, a total of eight threats were received so far, Sues told New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea .

"There is typically some backlash against the Muslim community (after these attacks). Members are held responsible for something they have no have no belief in at all and they regard as horrific as anybody else," Sues said.

"They said we're going to come and kill you, we're going to come kill you tonight," Sues said.

He also pointed out that the 150 interfaith groups from across the state that are part of the Islamic Society of Central Jersey condemned the attack and are working with law enforcement.

"Taking God's name and killing eight innocent bikers and injuring others is an absolute violation of God's commandment, which considers saving one life is like saving the entire humanity,"  the Society says on its Facebook page.

Sues said that the term "Allah Akbar" that Saipov shouted as he got out of the truck has been stolen by those that share his beliefs

"It is typically something you would say in support of something good. These people with this perverted ideology are using it in support of something horrific, something that is a major sin," Sues explained.

Drake's funeral is scheduled for Monday at the Church of the Ascension in Fairview. His viewing takes place at the Boulevard Funeral Home and Cremation Service in New Milford on Saturday.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at

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