Police investigate hate crime at southern Idaho mosque

This photo shows a cross wrapped in bacon with a pig's feet and tongue that was left in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of Twin Falls. 

TWIN FALLS, Idaho (AP) — A cross covered with parts from a butchered pig and left outside a southern Idaho mosque is being investigated as a hate crime, police said.

The 4-foot-tall cross was left in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of Twin Falls sometime Friday night or early Saturday morning, The Times-News reported . The Christian religious symbol was wrapped in bacon, pig's feet and a tongue. Islamic religious rules forbid the consumption of pork.

Twin Falls Police Lt. Terry Thueson said Monday that the center's caretaker found the cross.

"Hate crimes such as malicious harassment are very serious and the Twin Falls Police Department takes these crimes very seriously," Thueson said in a prepared statement. "The Twin Falls Police Department will do everything within our means to identify those responsible and hold them accountable. Acts such as this cannot be ignored and will not be tolerated in our community."

The Islamic Center of Twin Falls and its members have faced other incidents of harassment in recent years. In 2015 someone spray-painted the mosque with the name of a nearby internment camp where Japanese-Americans were imprisoned during World War II.