Arabic banner atop Citizen's Tower prompts swift mayoral respons

Arabic banner atop Citizen's Tower prompts swift mayoral response


A black banner with Arabic-style writing was seen hanging from the top of the city-owned Citizens Tower Monday morning has prompted Lubbock's mayor to request notification of federal agents.

The banner, black with a red heart in the center, with the words "alhab lljamie" according to an Arabic-speaking source, which translate to "love all," was apparently hung from the mostly vacant building, the future location of Lubbock City Hall. 

Mayor Glen Robertson sent the following letter to City Manager James Loomis regarding the banner hanging on the edge of the roof of the building at 14th Street and Avenue K.

"It has been brought to my attention that an Arabic flag has been hung from one of the upper floors of the Omni building. I am requesting that the flag be removed immediately, that we get an accurate translation of the flag, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, and our Lubbock County Sheriff's Department. I am also requesting that we take whatever steps are necessary to secure the building and ensure that this does not happen again. I fully understand that we must gather more facts before we make a knee jerk reaction but I am concerned on several levels. Please keep me informed as we learn more about this situation."

Robertson released the following statement to the public:

"I have sent Mr. Loomis an email requesting that we remove the Arabic flag from the Omni building, that we take all steps necessary to secure the building, and that Chief Stevens notify the Department of Homeland Security,, FBI, and the Lubbock Sheriffs office. I have also requested a translation of the message on the flag. It is premature to come to conclusions before we can gather more facts but I believe that we must take this situation seriously in light of current National and International events. I have complete confidence in our law enforcement agencies to investigate this event and will hold further comments until we have gathered solid information."

Follow Audra Coffman on Twitter: @a_coffman34

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