Mysterious 'Christian State' Group Threatens Muslims in Letter To Brussels Mosque

Belgium Molenbeek Mosque
Members of the Muslim community attend the Friday prayer at Attadamoun Mosque in the neighbourhood of Molenbeek, in Brussels, Belgium, November 20. A mysterious letter arrived at a Molenbeek mosque on Monday threatening vengeance for the Paris attacks. Reuters/Youssef Boudlal

A mosque in Brussels received a letter from a previously-unknown group calling itself the "Christian State" this week threatening to kill Muslims and attack their businesses in the country, according to French and Belgian media reports.

The letter arrived on Monday to a mosque in the Molenbeek district of the city, the area linked to a number of radical Islamists suspected of involvement in the deadly Paris attacks of November 13.

According to French daily Le Parisien, the anonymous letter said that "no mosque and none of your businesses will be safe" and threatened that "brothers [Muslims] will be slaughtered like pigs and crucified as our Lord converts their souls."

It also warned that the group " will avenge our brothers who fell in the various [Paris] attacks."

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The alleged letter sent by the "Christian State" to the Brussels mosque. Twitter / @MarwaanTunsi

The Attadamoun Mosque in Molenbeek, which received the letter, is in the hometown of the three Abdeslam brothers linked to the attacks that left 130 people dead.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, remains at large; Brahim, 31, killed himself when he detonated a suicide vest at a Paris restaurant and Belgian police released Mohamed after he was detained over a possible connection to his brothers' actions.

The "Christian State" group named on the letter is not known and it remains unclear who and how many people are either in the group or were responsible for the letter. Other Belgian media reports indicated that two other Brussels mosques had also received a version of the document.

Jamal Habbachich, the president of Molenbeek's mosque association, which includes 16 of 22 mosques in Brussels, said he found the letter in a postbox at the mosque and subsequently filed a complaint with Belgian authorities over the death threat. He added that he would request police patrols at all of the city's mosques, especially for Friday prayers.

"In the current climate, with fear in everyone's minds, it is disturbing," he told Le Parisien when asked about the letter. A video posted by Le Parisien shows Habbachich printing off a copy of the letter, marked by the initials E.C., or "Etat Chrétien" [Christian State].

He told Belgium's RTBF broadcaster: "There are two situations when you receive this kind of letter. It is a document written by someone unbalanced, or it is a very serious threat. What also concerns me is the name of the author of the letter, which uses similar terminology to that of the Islamic State."

Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel last week said that the government may close "certain radical mosques" in the Molenbeek district over fears that it was the location where the Paris attacks were launched.

On Thursday, Brussels' Grand Mosque, which Saudi Arabia gifted to Belgium, was evacuated after packets of white powder caused a security alert. Authorities later revealed that the powder was flour.

A four-day lockdown of the European capital came to an end on Wednesday as Belgian authorities lowered the maximum security threat level to "serious" due to fears of a Paris-like attack. Police remained on the streets and metro stations and schools continued to reopen, Michel said on Thursday. France held a national day of mourning for the victims of the coordinated shooting and suicide bomb attacks on Friday.