Man accused of setting fire to 2 Minneapolis mosques

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Police in Minneapolis are searching for a man suspected of setting fires that damaged two mosques earlier this week.

Jackie Rahm Little was charged with second-degree arson for one of the fires that rattled Minnesota’s Muslim community. The criminal complaint does not mention possible motives, but Muslim leaders on Tuesday said they feared the attacks were motivated by Islamophobia, the Star Tribune reported.

Little, 36, is charged in connection with the second fire, which on Monday burned the third floor of the Mercy Islamic Center. The center houses the Masjid Al Rahma mosque.

The criminal complaint states that surveillance footage shows Little entering the center carrying a bag with a gasoline can inside. A short time later, a staff member spotted a fire near offices. It was extinguished before it could spread very far.

The other fire was Sunday night in the bathroom of the mosque in the 24 Somali Mall. The Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said a suspect entered with a gas canister before lighting a fire in the bathroom. Worshippers extinguished the fire.