The Islamic Society of Joplin reported receiving a possible bomb threat this past weekend to its new mosque in the west part of town.
Sgt. Rusty Rives of the Joplin Police Department said a telephone call placed at 9:11 p.m. Saturday to the new Islamic Center was answered by the president of the society, Iftikhar Ali.
The male caller began asking Ali questions about explosive devices, Rives said. When Ali began asking him questions in turn, the caller suddenly hung up, Rives said.
The mosque reported the incident as a possible bomb threat and police conducted a walk-through of the Islamic Center with an explosives-sniffing dog that did not detect the presence of any explosive materials.
Rives said the call, which was placed from a Kansas City area code, remains under investigation.
A call to the Islamic Center seeking comment on the apparent bomb threat and a message left on an answering machine went unanswered.
The Islamic Society of Joplin's previous mosque on South Black Cat Road was destroyed by arson on Aug. 6, 2012. Joplin resident Jedediah Stout, 32, confessed to having torched the mosque after his arrest in 2013 for similar arson attempts at the Planned Parenthood offices in Joplin. Stout was sentenced recently to five years and three months in a federal prison for the crimes.
A second bomb threat made this weekend to a mental health center in Joplin is not believed to be related to the call placed to the mosque.
Rives said a man who called the Mercy Behavioral Health Center on West 32nd Street initially asked if someone he knew was a patient there. When an employee informed the caller that the center's policies prohibited the release of such patient information, the caller became angry and threatened to blow up the center.
That call was placed locally and is not believed to have been made by the same man who called the mosque, Rives said.