Michael Calhoun

CENTER CITY, Ill. (KMOX) – A suspicious package caused quite the stir Tuesday night in this town, near Centralia.

The box was found around 5 p.m. by a neighbor in the bushes outside the local Islamic Center. That person brought it inside, concerns were raised and police were called.

Evacuations were ordered and roads were closed in the immediate area.

The Effingham “Bomb Squad arrived on the scene and was going to open the package using a water jet, but then x-rayed the package,” and found no explosives, Mayor John Johnston said.

The box contained papers with messages disparaging the Islamic religion and threatening the Center.

“Hate mail,” Mayor Johnston called it.

He noted that the Temple opened a food pantry in the town about a year ago, and that “we’ve tried to work hand-in-hand with them. They’re good neighbors.”

“I’m glad it wasn’t a bomb.”

The F.B.I. out of Fairview Heights in now investigating.

Copyright KMOX Radio


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