VERULAM locals having a word with SAPS members after the mosque was attacked by unknown men. Picture: Doctor Ngcobo
DURBAN - In the wake of the gruesome #MosqueAttack at the Imam Hussein Mosque in Ottawa, Verulam, on Thursday afternoon, more details are unraveling about the extent of the attack and possible motives.

A suspicious device, believed to be an explosive, was found inside the Mosque on Sunday evening.

Here's an updated summary of what we know so far;

1. An old Nokia phone attached to a plastic pipe with wires was found by worshipers at the Imam Hussein Mosque on Sunday evening, at the pulpit close to where the Imam (preacher) would be seated.

2. After a grueling five-hour investigation by the bomb squad, the device was removed. But religious tension had surfaced among residents living around the area, who were evacuated from their homes for safety measures.


3. Hawks Captain Simphiwe Mhlongo said it was "strange" that the device was found merely hours after Police Minister, Bheki Cele, had visited the area, and the Mosque was scanned and "cleared" on Friday in the wake of the initial attack.

4. Alleged hate speech against the Shia community has been reported to be among factors that would have incited the attack of the Mosque which is among three of the only Shia mosques in South Africa. The Shia group is a small sect within the Muslim community.

5. Security at the two other Shia mosques, in Johannesburg and Cape Town, have been heightened in the wake of the attack, while the Hawks and intelligence authorities investigate the attack. The Hawks are also determining whether the apparent #MosqueBomb was indeed an explosive device.

SUNDAY TRIBUNE