UNITED STATES NEWS

Affidavit: Suspect admitted setting Minnesota mosque fire to protest homelessness

May 19, 2023, 2:05 PM

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A man charged with setting a fire at a Minnesota mosque told authorities he is Muslim and set the fire to protest homelessness, according to court records.

Said Murekezi, 42, is charged with second-degree arson, second-degree burglary of a religious building and fifth-degree drug possession in the fire Wednesday at the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center in St. Paul.

The center was last used as a mosque in 2021 and was currently being used as office space.

The arson was one of at least six acts of vandalism or arson against mosques in Minnesota this year, and prompted Muslim and government officials to call for the state’s residents to stand in unity with Muslims.

A probable cause statement said Murezeki was released from jail 36 hours before the fire. Court records show he has several past convictions, including one for arson at the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul in 2020. He has also undergone several mental health evaluations.

Investigators said Murekezi was on probation for first-degree criminal damage to property and had previously broken windows at a Catholic church in Minneapolis this year and an Islamic community center in Minnetonka in 2021.

The probable cause statement said Murekezi, who had no listed home address, admitted that he broke into the mosque the day before the fire and slept there overnight.

He said he was upset that Muslims and Americans who are homeless were not being helped by the building or the government. He also told investigators that if he had not been caught he would have burned another mosque or church, according to the statement.

Court documents don’t list a current attorney for this case.

United States News

...

KTAR Video

Video: Executive director of the Arizona Police Association reacts to DOJ investigation findings

Executive director of the Arizona Police Association reacts to DOJ investigation findings on The Mike Broomhead Show. Video: Jeremy Schnell and Felisa Cárdenas/KTAR News

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Kansas governor and GOP leaders say they have a deal on tax cuts to end 2 years of stalemate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor and top Republican lawmakers say they have an agreement on a package of broad tax cuts, potentially ending a two-year political standoff that has prevented their state from following others in making big reductions. The deal announced late Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP leaders would save […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

A week of disorder in Cleveland, as City Hall remains closed after cyber threat

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s City Hall remained closed to the public Friday, as officials in Ohio’s second-largest city continued to grapple with the effects of a cyber threat. City operations have been hampered all week by the threat, which was first detected Sunday. The nature of the threat, its cause and how extensively it affected […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Move over grizzlies and wolves: Yellowstone visitors hope to catch a glimpse of rare white buffalo

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Standing at the edge of a bluff overlooking the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park, TJ Ammond stared through binoculars at hundreds of buffalo dotting the verdant valley below. Tan-colored calves frolicked near their mothers while hulking bulls wallowed in mud. As his wife and young children clustered behind […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Her dying husband worried she’d have money troubles. Then she won the lottery

FREEPORT, Pa. (AP) — In the weeks before his death, Karen Coffman’s husband worried she might have money troubles after he was gone. But two weeks before he died in April of complications from a brain tumor, the Pennsylvania woman bought a scratch-off state lottery ticket that netted her $1 million. “When I told him […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge says trial is required to decide government’s antitrust case over Google’s advertising tech

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday said the government’s antitrust case against Google over its advertising technology will go to trial in September, rejecting both sides’ request to rule in their favor as a matter of law. The Justice Department and Google had been expected to make their arguments seeking summary judgment […]

3 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.

...

Sanderson Ford

3 new rides for 3 new road trips in Arizona

It's time for the Sanderson Ford Memorial Day sale with the Mighty Fine 69 Anniversary, as Sanderson Ford turned 69 years old in May.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s how to be worry-free when your A/C goes out in the middle of summer

PHOENIX -- As Arizona approaches another hot summer, Phoenix residents are likely to spend more time indoors.

Affidavit: Suspect admitted setting Minnesota mosque fire to protest homelessness