'Jihad' spray painted across wall along Interstate 95

DELRAY BEACH, Fla. - Drivers traveling along Interstate 95 in Delray Beach passed by a shocking message Saturday.

The word "Jihad" was spray painted across a wall south of the Atlantic Avenue exit along the northbound lanes of I-95.

According to the Associated Press online stylebook, jihad is an Arabic noun used to refer to the Islamic concept of the struggle to do good. In particular situations, that can include holy war, the meaning extremist Muslims commonly use.

Heather Smith traveled past it Saturday, and was very upset by the message. She said, " If it's a joke, it's a sick joke."

Florida Highway Patrol troopers came out Saturday evening to investigate the graffiti. They found one can of spray paint nearby that may be linked to the crime. They say they talked to nearby residents who told them they didn't see the person or people behind the graffiti.

Drivers speculated as to who did it. Todd Newman said, "Probably a bunch of kids to be honest, but still... what possesses kids to do that? They just don't even understand what it means and what it comes from." 

Eli Jones expressed his concerns."Technically it's a message," Jones said, "It's a little nervewracking. Somebody's gotta see that and understand that something's going on."

Deeper into Delray Beach, at the intersection of SW 4th Avenue and Linton Boulevard, a sticker was found on an electrical box. The sticker read "Jihad." Police were alerted of the sticker. They say it will be difficult to track down who put it there, because there's no telling when it was placed on the box.

Story updated to clarify meaning of jihad


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