A federal grand jury has indicted a 24-year-old Texas man in connection with the September 2011 bomb threat of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Justice.
Officials with the U.S. Department of Justice discusses an indictment against Javier A. Correa on June 21, 2012, outside of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro in Tennessee. (TMP Photo/M. Kemph)
Javier Alan Correa of Corpus Christi, Texas, was indicted Thursday by a Nashville grand jury and is accused of violating the civil rights of members of the Islamic Center.
He has been charged in the Middle District of Tennessee with one count of intentionally obstructing by threat of force the free exercise of religious beliefs, as well as using an instrument of interstate commerce to communicate a threat to destroy a building by means of an explosive device.
“Today’s indictment should send a message loud and clear that the Department of Justice will not tolerate violence or threat of any violence against the Muslim community in Murfreesboro,” U.S. attorney Jerry E. Martin said, during a press conference outside of the Islamic Center.
According to the indictment, on Sept. 5, 2011, Correa, who has not yet been apprehended, called the Islamic Center, using a cell phone from an undisclosed location in Corpus Christi, and left an expletive-laced message threatening to blow up the building.
“If you engage in this type of illegal conduct we will come after you,” Martin said. “The right to worship and assemble is a bedrock guarantee of this great nation."
Flanked by officials from the Civil Rights Division, an arm of the Justice Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation and Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office, Martin issued a strong statement outside of the Islamic Center, warning the on-going controversy surrounding the mosque is being monitored.
“We intend to protect the rights afforded under the U.S. Constitution to all individuals, including the most basic right to exercise freedom of religious beliefs,” he said.
Martin said the controversy, as well as criminal activity, surrounding the construction of the Islamic Center “has impeded the ability of people to exercise that most basic right.”
“We will continue to monitor the progress of construction and legal proceedings at the local level to insure these citizens are able to enjoy all basic liberties guaranteed by the Constitution,” he said.