An 18-year-old has been charged with felony destruction of property for allegedly vandalizing a mosque that was under construction in Chantilly, Fairfax County police said.
Trenton M. Carter of the 14400 block of Round Lick Lane in the Centreville area was arrested May 3, police said. Carter and possibly other suspects allegedly threw rocks through most of the windows and door glass of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community Mosque in the 4500 block of Ahmadiyya Drive in January, police and mosque officials said.
Police declined to release other details about the suspect, but said more arrests could be made and the investigation into the vandalism is continuing.
The damage, which a mosque official said cost $200,000 to repair, was discovered Monday, Jan. 30, but police believe it had occurred during the previous weekend. No messages or graffiti were left at the scene.
“There’s nothing to suggest this was a hate crime,” said Officer Bud Walker, a spokesman for the Fairfax County police. “Everything suggests it’s random vandalism.”
In addition to the broken windows, empty beer cans and liquor bottles were scattered around the construction site and on the roof of the mosque, said Usman Ghumman, general secretary of the mosque.
The vandalism drew an outpouring of condemnation from local religious leaders. The Ahmadiyya sect has faced persecution in Pakistan because its members believe in a modern-day messiah and do not accept Muhammad as the final prophet.
Ghumman said the mosque is slated to open at the end of May. Construction began in December 2010.
“We are sympathetic to the suspect because it was done out of ignorance,” Ghumman said. “We don’t stand for violence or terrorism. Islam means peace.”