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Oregon Terror Suspect's Mosque Torched

Feds investigating arson as suspected hate crime
By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2010 1:44 AM CST
Updated Nov 29, 2010 3:20 AM CST
Terror Suspect's Mosque Torched
Imam Yosof Wanly, of Corvallis, Ore., leaves the mosque which was set ablaze yesterday.   (AP Photo/Corvallis Gazette-Times, Jesse Skoubo)

(Newser) – Federal authorities are investigating a suspected hate-crime torching of a mosque attended by the Oregon teen charged in last Friday's attempted terror attack. Arson destroyed part of the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvalis a day after former Oregon State University student Mohamed Osman Mohamud, 19, was arrested when police said he tried to ignite a van he thought was full of explosives near festivities marking the lighting of Portland's public Christmas tree.

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The van, armed with duds, was part of a sting staged by FBI agents intent on snaring Mohamud after he sent emails to known terrorists, authorities said. Officials are investigating the arson as a hate crime because it appears that it was an attempt “to interfere with the civil right of the members of the church to freely worship," an FBI spokeswoman told the Gazette Times. An arsonist apparently triggered the fire by heaving a bottle of flammable liquid through a window of the mosque. Click here for more on the bomb plot.
(Read more Mohamed Osman Mohamud stories.)

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