Major US Muslim group moves annual banquet after threats

ARLINGTON, Virginia (Reuters) – A major U.S. Muslim civil rights group has moved an annual banquet scheduled for Saturday to an undisclosed location after a hotel canceled the event because of threats.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said the Marriott Crystal Gateway hotel in Arlington, Virginia, which has hosted its gathering for more than 10 years, received the threats.

“Anonymous callers have threatened to plant bombs in the hotel’s parking garage, kill specific hotel staff in their homes, and storm the hotel in a repeat of the Jan. 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol if the events moved forward,” CAIR said in a statement on Thursday night.

The group said it would proceed with the Saturday banquet in an alternate, secured location.

A representative for the hotel was not immediately available.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said on Thursday that the Justice Department is monitoring an increase in reported threats against Jewish, Muslim and Arab communities in the United States tied to Israel’s war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

President Joe Biden called on Americans to denounce Islamophobia and antisemitism in an Oval Office address Thursday night. “You’re all America,” he said.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu in Washington; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama)


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