NEW DELHI: The mosque frequented by Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen was heavily damaged in arson fire, in an attack that authorities say could be a possible hate crime. Elsewhere, in New York, a woman dressed in traditional Muslim clothing was set on fire by an attacker, with the NYPD hate crimes department being called in to investigate the attack.

The angle of hate crimes is being investigated given the timing of the attacks, as the anniversary of September 11 and the start of Eidul Azha coincide this year.

Surveillance video from the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce mosque shows a man on a motorcycle approaching the building with a bottle of liquid and some papers. No one was injured in the attack, but as Wilfredo Amr Ruiz, a Florida spokesperson for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said, the arsonist “is terrorising our community because we don't know where he is at and we don't know what he is capable of doing.” Omar Mateen made headlines in June for a brutal attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando that killed 49 people and left 53 others wounded.

Seperately, in New York, the attacker reportedly lit a religiously dressed woman's shirt on fire as she stood outside a store on Manhattan’s Fifth Avenue. The attack comes on the heels of a verbal attack on two Muslim women in Brooklyn, who were harassed while out walking with their children. The attacker to "Get the f*** out of America, b******" and tried to pull off their hijabs. Last month, in August, an Imam and his assistant were fatally shot outside their mosque in Queens, New York.

The latest incidents come as data released by the FBI shows that hate crimes against Muslims have jumped in the years after 2001. The number of anti-Muslim hate crime incidents jumped in 2001, from 28 to 481 incidents. The number dropped in the following years, but has never returned to levels reported before the 9/11 attacks.

More recently, statistics show that hate crimes against Muslims have tripled since the terrorist attacks in Paris and the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California in late 2015. Mosques have increasingly been targeted. Hours after terrorist attack in Nice, France, a mosque in Rhode Island was the target of vandalism.

The attacks also come as anti-Muslim rhetoric seeks a spike, with Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump making derogatory statements against Muslims a key focus of his campaign. Donald Trump's claim that he witnessed "thousands" of people "cheering" in New Jersey following the September 11, 2001, was one such example, with Trump following up the statement by calling for a ban on Muslims entering the United States.

The most recent figures tracking anti-Muslim violence in the US see a correlation between the rhetoric and attacks. A report published by Georgetown University’s Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding examines anti-Muslim violence since the start of the Presidential campaign in 2016. According to the report, in the period between March 2015 and March 2016, there have been 180 reported incidents of anti-Muslim violence. These include 12 murders, 34 physical assaults, 56 acts of vandalisms, nine arsons, and eight shootings and bombings.

"Anti-Muslim violence remained significantly higher in 2015 than pre- 9/11 levels with American Muslims approximately 6 to 9 times more likely to suffer such attacks. The number of incidents in 2015 is also higher than the total number of anti-Muslim hate crimes reported in 2014: 154,” the report notes.