Arabic Message to Beach Haven Church Probed

Nov 15, 2017

As it was getting ready to hold an annual Veterans Day service last Saturday evening, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal Church in Beach Haven got a foreboding-looking message on its Facebook page. According to Police Lt. Tom Medel, the message was written in Arabic and was translated as “Thanks for the invitation.” However, the message also contained what he said were “graphic images,” prompting the police to notify the Ocean County Sheriff’s Department and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“With something like this you can’t take chances,” said Medel, adding that the name attached to the message appeared to be Turkish.

The service went on as scheduled, but Medel said the sheriff's department brought its K-9 unit to check for any harmful devices. None were found on the property. Beach Haven and sheriff’s officers also stood outside for extra security.

The church’s rector, the Rev. Frank B. Crumbaugh, could not be reached for comment. E.E.

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