- Associated Press - Wednesday, December 16, 2015

MACON, Ga. (AP) - Graffiti including the word “terrorist” scrawled on a Macon mosque has prompted an investigation, authorities said.

Bibb County deputies responded Saturday afternoon to the Islamic Center of Macon, WMAZ-TV reported (http://on.wmaz.com/1OvL7M5 ).

A member of the mosque showed the deputies graffiti on the back of the building and on several windows, which included the terrorist reference and profanity, authorities said.

On Tuesday morning, Rebecca Lanning stood outside the mosque, holding a sign that says, “Pursue Peace.”

“Macon is better than this,” she said, adding that members of the mosque “deserve respect.”

Investigators are looking at video from the mosque’s security cameras, according to a sheriff’s department incident report.

Nationwide, there have been several reports of vandalism to mosques and attacks against Muslims after a couple who federal officials say were inspired by Islamist extremists killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, on Dec. 2.

In Hawthorne, California, vandals spray-painted graffiti about Jesus at two mosques and left a device that looked like a hand grenade in a driveway, leading police to investigate both cases as hate crimes.

In Palm Springs, California, a fire that authorities said was intentionally set damaged a mosque Friday. They arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the fire and booked him on suspicion of committing a hate crime, arson, maliciously setting a fire and burglary.

In South Florida, a man is facing hate-crime charges after authorities say he broke in and vandalized the Islamic Center of Palm Beach.

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Information from: WMAZ-TV, http://www.wmaz.com/

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