Corvallis (Oregon, US), Nov.29 (ANI): Muslims in Oregon are fearing a spate of revenge attacks on the community after a mosque used by the Christmas tree bomb suspect was set ablaze.
The attack on the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Centre in Corvallis came two days after the arrest of Mohamed Osman Mohamud, accused of trying to detonate a vanload of explosives at Portland's Christmas tree lighting ceremony.
Muslims said they feared the mosque blaze could be just the first volley of misplaced retribution, The Independent reports.
The charges against Mohamud, 19, a Somali-born US citizen who was caught in an FBI sting operation in a state that has been largely accepting of Muslims, have shocked those who know him, who say they had no idea he had become radicalised.
The fire at the Islamic centre was reported at 2.15 a.m. on Sunday local time, and evidence at the scene led authorities to believe it was started intentionally, said Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer for the Corvallis Fire Department.
Authorities said they believed the centre was targeted because Mohamud occasionally worshipped there.
Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, said there was no conclusive link to the attempted bombing in Portland or specific evidence that it was a hate crime, other than the timing. (ANI)