Photos emerge of gang dressed as Ku Klux Klan outside Islamic centre in Northern Ireland

October, 2018

Police have confirmed an incident in which a group dressed up like members of the Ku Klux Klan in a Co Down town is being investigated as a hate crime.

Photographs of the group outside an Islamic Centre in Newtownards emerged online over the weekend.

The incident was reported to the PSNI on October 28 afternoon at around 5pm, about an incident on Saturday night where a group was seen wearing the distinctive pointed-hooded costumes in the vicinity of Greenwell Street.

Inspector Richard Murray said: "We are also aware of images that are circulating that show people dressed as Ku Klux Klan members.

"Our enquiries are ongoing, and we are treating this as a hate incident at this time."

In one of the images posted over the weekend, the group of around 10 people are pictured in a threatening pose, some with fists raised, outside the town's Islamic Centre.

Strangford Alliance MLA Kellie Armstrong called the photographs "unacceptable" and said she will be asking police to investigate.

The Ku Klux Klan is a racist group established by white supremacists in the United States.

In August 2017 a pig's head was left at the Islamic Centre's door and graffiti painted on the building.

Source: Independent