A decorated Army Reserve officer left bacon at a mosque and brandished a handgun while threatening to kill Muslims and bury them there, North Carolina authorities said Friday.
Russell Thomas Langford, 36, made death threats against members of the mosque about 20 miles southwest of Fayetteville, authorities said.
“He told people at the mosque that he would kill them and bury them behind the mosque,” said Capt. John Kivett of the Sheriff’s Office. “He brandished a weapon while he was on the property.”
Langford, who lives in Fayetteville, was charged with ethnic intimidation, assault with a deadly weapon, going armed to the terror of the public, communicating threats, stalking and disorderly conduct, the sheriff’s office said.
It began Thursday afternoon when the man insulted a mosque member doing construction work nearby and then left the packages of bacon at the mosque entrance, according to authorities and witnesses.
Advocacy groups say pork is often used to insult Muslims, whose religion doesn’t allow them to eat it. The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations said the act constituted a desecration of the place of worship.
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Image courtesy of Hoke Co. Sheriff’s Office