Services continue after scare at Baton Rouge Islamic Center

Services continue after scare at Baton Rouge Islamic Center

Friday prayer goes on like normal at the Baton Rouge Islamic Center just off Florida Boulevard.

Chairman Emad Nofal says he and some of the wisest members of his congregation can pray and smile a whole lot easier, compared to the same time last week.

"The oldest member of our community here is 85-years-old, and he had to run for his life," said Nofal.

Police say this happened after a man barged into the crowded mosque with a gun. After reportedly pointing the unloaded weapon at his head, investigators say the gunman identified as Bustafa Bilal loaded the weapon and turned it toward the worshippers. 

Bilal then reportedly left the mosque without firing a shot and took off.  Authorities arrested him yesterday and charged him with terrorizing. He is no stranger to Nofal and others

"They know him," said BRPD's Cpl. L'jean McKneely. "They had altercations with him - with his mental state - that's why they banned him from that facility."

"it was a disturbed person that practice with us for a few months," Nofal said. "He just has personal problems, so it was kind of more than that."

Nofal says even though it was a dangerous situation, there is a silver lining of a lesson well learned.

"It was a positive in a way," said Nofal. "It's a wake up call. We need to check our security because we don't want something bad to happen to our people."

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