Charleston police investigate suspicious letter with apparent threat to mosque

Charleston Police are responding to a four-car crash in West Ashley. (Source: AP)
Charleston Police are responding to a four-car crash in West Ashley. (Source: AP)
Published: Aug. 4, 2016 at 11:04 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Charleston police are investigating a suspicious letter that could be interpreted as a threat to a mosque in the Charleston area.

The recipient of the letter told police she received it approximately three weeks ago, on July 11, but only decided to turn it over to police on Monday.

The envelope did not have a name or return address and contained a postcard with a "mosque-like drawing" and the number 1488, the incident report states. Written on the postcard was the message, "CHARLESTON - THE SEQUEL - COMING SOON TO A MOSQUE NEAR YOU ONLESS ROFF IS RELEASED," the report states.

The reference to "ROOF" could have been a misspelling of Dylann Roof's last name; Roof is the suspect accused in the shooting of nine people at Mother Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015. With that interpretation, the "sequel," could refer to a similar violent act at a mosque rather than a church.

Roof is currently being held at the Charleston County jail pending state and federal trials set to begin later this year.

The numbers 14 and 88 are often used as white supremacist numeric symbols, according to the Anti-Defamation League. The number 14, the organization's website states, refers to the "14 words" slogan, which reads, "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children." The number 88 is sometimes used as a shortcode for the phrase "Heil Hitler," with the number eight representing the letter H, the eighth letter of the alphabet.

The numbers "are ubiquitous within the white supremacist movement - as graffiti, in graphics and tattoos, even in screen names and e-mail addresses," the league's website states.

The letter was turned in to police evidence, the report states.

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