New York's mayor has expressed outrage after a mosque was hit by a firebomb in an arson spree that police said they were investigating as a hate crime.
The Imam Al-Khoei Foundation building in the borough of Queens suffered damage to the front door from a Molotov cocktail thrown late on January 1.
Two similar attacks occurred in the same neighborhood, including one on a convenience store run by Muslims.
In a statement on January 2, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the three firebomb attacks "stand in stark contrast to the New York City of today that we've built together."
Bloomberg has been a staunch defender of the city's Muslim immigrant population, notably in the furor over plans to build an Islamic center and mosque two blocks from the former location of the Twin Towers, which were destroyed in the September 11, 2001, Al-Qaeda attacks.
compiled from agency reports