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Monday September 16th, 2019 12:20AM

Lawmakers announce plan for more security after mosque fire

By The Associated Press
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HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Authorities have found evidence that an incendiary device or material was used to start a weekend fire at a Connecticut mosque, New Haven's mayor said Tuesday.

Federal, state and local authorities are investigating Sunday afternoon's blaze that damaged two floors of New Haven's Diyanet Mosque as arson.

Mayor Toni Harp said in a statement Tuesday that if it's proven the fire was intentionally set, the city will use all its resources to find those responsible. She did not detail what the incendiary device was.

Authorities have offered a $2,500 reward for information leading to an arrest.

Several online fundraisers have been started to help with mosque repairs.

The Muslim Coalition of Connecticut's page had more than $66,000 in pledges Tuesday afternoon.

A bi-partisan group of Connecticut lawmakers also announced plans to free up $5 million in state bonding to increase security at houses of worship across the state.

State Sen. Saud Anwar, a Democrat from South Windsor and one of the main sponsors of the legislation, said the money will help create a sense of resiliency and protection at churches, synagogues and mosques.

"We don't yet have all the facts and details regarding the arson attack in New Haven, but no one should feel unsafe or unwelcome in their place of worship," he said.

The legislation would establish a competitive grant program similar to one that already makes money available to schools to install such things as remote door entry systems, video monitoring and shatter-proof windows.

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