Pilgrims prayed near the Al-Safa mountain, at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during Ramadan in 2017. Amr Nabil AP
Pilgrims prayed near the Al-Safa mountain, at the Grand Mosque, during the minor pilgrimage known as Umrah in the Muslim holy city of Mecca, Saudi Arabia, during Ramadan in 2017. Amr Nabil AP

Crime

He got busted for phoning bomb threats to a mosque. He seemed to forget about caller ID

By David J. Neal

dneal@miamiherald.com

May 16, 2018 05:39 PM

A Cutler Bay man has been charged with willfully making a bomb threat by telephone after leaving an expletive-filled phone message that threatened to blow up a Broward County mosque, federal prosecutors say.

The criminal complaint says Dustin Hughes admitted on Tuesday to placing that May 5 phone call and three others within the next week to Jamaet Ul Muttaqueen, a Pembroke Pines mosque. Hughes wanted to inject fear into mosque members.

Tuesday was the first day of Ramadan in the United States, the month-long period of fasting and prayer in the Islamic religion.

This is not the first time an arrest was made for threats to a South Florida mosque. In January, 35-year-old Gerald Wallace was sentenced to a year in prison after an expletive-filled phone message to Majid Mosque in Miami Gardens that threatened to shoot attendees.

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Hughes' criminal complaint quotes his May 5 message as saying:

"I planted a bomb in your temple. Where you guys have your sanctuary and worship Allah, I’m gonna blow that mother------ up.

"You guys wanna come here and cause mayhem to America, well, I'm gonna cause mayhem to your religion 'cause your religion is nothing but lies. Lies, lies, lies from the devil! Where's Allah now.''

The call, the complaint says, came from a 786 number that Pembroke Pines police quickly tracked to Hughes. The ensuing three messages, each of which used similar verbiage to the May 5 message, came from the same number. Not only did the FBI special agent believe the voice on each message sounded the same, but the mosque's digital caller ID named the caller as "DUSTIN HUGHES."

Hughes has a conviction for trespass without warning. After his arrest Tuesday, the complaint says Hughes initially denied making the calls, then admitted doing so.

"When advised, in substance, that the calls caused the members of the mosque to become scared, Hughes clapped and said, "good" or some other similar words of approval," the complaint said.

The mosque plans increased security for Ramadan.