West Kendall

Police, clergy meet over mosque case

Sunglasses printed with the American flag were among items left outside the Islamic School of Miami this week that members said were meant to be a threat.
Sunglasses printed with the American flag were among items left outside the Islamic School of Miami this week that members said were meant to be a threat. Miami Herald Staff

Members of the Islamic School of Miami met with law enforcement agents Friday to talk about Henri Thomas Borno being identified Monday as the person responsible for leaving seemingly random objects around school property.

The meeting, which involved members of the mosque, leaders of different faiths and others in the community, lasted about two hours.

“We had a very good diverse group,” said Rabbi Solomon Schiff, of the Miami-Dade County Community Relations Board, which hosted the meeting. “There was a very strong feeling that we cannot let an isolated issue like this go unanswered because if you let something like this go, it could lead to other events and other violence much worse.”

Those in the Muslim community agreed.

“The meeting went very well,” said Naveed Anjum, school chairman. “We needed to get our questions answered.”

The group’s questions centered on why Borno, 28, was not charged with leaving items around the property. Since Sept. 11, a ceramic skull, a Bible, cable cutters and a cross adorned with American flag sunglasses, among other items, have been strewn around school grounds.

On Monday, Miami-Dade police identified Borno as the person behind the acts. Police committed him to mental health treatment under Florida's Baker Act. Police said they told him not to return to the property.

Law enforcement agents explained that Borno could not be charged with a crime because the school lacked a gate, and technically he did not break into the property. If he were to come back — now that he has been warned not to return — he could be charged with trespassing.

Anjum said he left the meeting with a greater understanding of the circumstances that occurred over the past three weeks at the mosque.

Miami-Dade police and other law enforcement agencies say they plan to enhance security at the school, 11699 SW 147th Ave.

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