The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo was targeted by arsonists according to investigators. Not much else has been revealed about the attack, but one must question whether this arson attack is part of the larger pattern of hate crimes that we have witnessed over the past several years targeting Muslim places of worship.:
Investigators say a fire inside a landmark mosque in Ohio was intentionally set.
Little information was being released Monday about the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
The blaze broke out Sunday and caused both smoke and water damage on the second floor of the mosque that sits along Interstate 75 near Toledo.
The building’s gold dome is visible for miles and is a landmark in northwest Ohio.
See also “Local mosque fire ruled arson”, Toledo Blade, 2 October 2012
People for the American Way has an info-graphic that gives a visual representation of attacks on mosques in the USA, highlighting that the phenomenon of hate attacks is spread across the country:
Authorities confirmed today that an arrest has been made in the fire at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sunday.
The arrest was made late today near Fort Wayne, Ind., and is reported by authorities to be the person of interest that was captured by a surveillance camera outside the center, 25877 Scheider Rd.
“We believe the person in the photos is the person we have in custody,” said Shane Cartmill, spokesman for the State Fire Marshal’s Office.
Additional details on the arrest were not immediately available.
Crews responded to the fire shortly after 5 p.m. Sunday. It was ruled an arson case on Monday. Police Sgt. James Gross said earlier today that investigators have finished their investigation inside the center and turned over results to center administrators on Monday.
He also said investigators do not yet know if the motive for the fire was religion based.
“Even if we did know we wouldn’t be releasing that,” Sergeant Gross said. “There’s no indication of that right now…”
Several people did a walk-through of the center on Monday and were inside again on Tuesday to do an evaluation of damage, Sergeant Gross said.
Officials have said most of the damage — primarily smoke and water — was on the second floor in the prayer room. A damage estimate has not been released.
The center remained closed on Tuesday and there was no indication when it might reopen.
UPDATE II: Suspect Named and Arrested
According to a source with the Ohio State Fire Marshal’s office, an arrest has been made in connection to Sunday’s arson at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
A detective with Perrysburg Township Police would only say the investigation is ”continuing” and would not name the suspect.
However, the Toledo Blade was able to obtain the name from Indiana authorities.
The paper says the accused arsonist is 52-year-old Randy T. Linn of St. Joe, Indiana.
Linn has now been charged with two counts of arson, and one count each of aggravated burglary as well as carrying a concealed weapon.
The suspect was picked up Tuesday afternoon near Fort Wayne, Indiana.
On Monday night, Police released three surveillance photos of a “person of interest” in the case.
Shane Cartmill, state fire marshal spokesman, told the Toledo Blade that Linn is the person in those images.
PERRYSBURG, Ohio (AP) — Federal prosecutors say they’ve filed hate-crimes charges against an Indiana man suspected of starting a fire that damaged a landmark mosque in northwest Ohio.
They said Friday that charges filed in U.S. District Court in Toledo allege Randolph Linn of St. Joe intentionally damaged property because of its religious character and used fire and explosives to commit a felony.
Authorities say they found a plastic gas can in the middle of the prayer room damaged by the Sunday blaze at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo.
They say a woman who identified the 52-year-old Linn on surveillance video told authorities he’d recently made anti-Muslim comments referencing an anti-Islam video and recent attacks on U.S. embassies.