SYDNEY, Australia -- Police patrols have been increased at Sydney buildings deemed vulnerable to vandalism after attacks on religious premises which the police commissioner has described as outrageous.
In one attack on a Syrian Orthodox Church still being built at Lidcombe, slogans, including "Osama bin Laden is Great", "Muslims Rule" and "Kill Jews and Christians" were spray-painted on a wall. The building was also set alight.
Other attacks upon places of worship at Auburn, Bankstown, Greenacre and Punchbowl have been reported.
The Police Commissioner, Peter Ryan, said he was concerned about the attacks. "We're monitoring this literally hourly and daily," he told Radio 2UE.
"And we've asked all our patrols, all over the city, to be very, very conscious and to patrol in the vicinity of mosques, churches and institutions, and buildings owned by the allied coalition partners, America, Israel, and also businesses and institutions owned by Islamic groups."
Georges River regional commander, Chris Evans, said the vandalism and arson attacks on churches and mosques appeared to be a "disturbing trend".