DMV-area leaders attend mosque service after threat

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) – U.S. Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., and other elected officials are expressing solidarity with the region’s Muslim population following an appearance at a northern Virginia mosque.

Beyer was joined Friday by District of Columbia Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., and state officials at prayer services at the Dar al-Hijrah mosque in Falls Church.

Last month, Fairfax County authorities charged a man with leaving a fake bomb at the mosque. Dar al-Hijrah, one of the region’s largest mosques, has been in the spotlight since the Sept. 11 attacks. Its then-imam, the late Anwar al-Awlaki, later left the country and became a leader in al-Qaeda.

Beyer said he wanted to counter a wave of anti-Muslim rhetoric that has taken hold in the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks.

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