Men robbing banks dressed in Muslim garb

April 25, 2012 at 5:52 PM

PHILADELPHIA, April 25 (UPI) -- Philadelphia's Islamic community has offered a $20,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of men who robbed banks dressed in Muslim garb, police said.

At least five bank robberies and one homicide committed by men dressed as women wearing Muslim headscarves prompted the Majlis Ash Shura, which represents Philadelphia-area Muslim congregations, to join forces with local officials in an effort to find the perpetrators, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

"Philadelphia is a unique city in that Islam is not new here," Aliya Khabir, a public relations official representing the national United Muslim Masajid, said at a Tuesday news conference. "It's up to us to set the tone for how this is addressed."

Five bank holdups have taken place since December, the most recent being a robbery of the Wells Fargo branch in the 700 block of Adams Avenue, the newspaper said.

Michael Turner, 35, was shot and killed April 18 when a suspect wearing a loose dress and headscarf opened fire in an Upper Darby barber shop. Sharif Wynn, 27, of Philadelphia, was taken into custody as a suspect.

"We are seeing cowards dressed in the outer garb of Muslim women," District Attorney Seth Williams said. "We will do all that we can to make sure [Muslim] women aren't degraded in this way."

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