Federal, local agencies give update on Minneapolis mosque arson investigation
Federal and local authorities discussed the arson investigation involving two Minneapolis mosques Thursday after the suspect’s latest court appearance.
Law enforcement arrested a man over the weekend suspected of intentionally starting fires at two different mosques.
As previously reported by 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS, Jackie Rahm Little, 36, – who is also known as Joel Arthur Tueting – made his first federal court appearance Monday morning, where he was appointed a federal defender. He was back in court Thursday morning.
A judge is expected to soon decide if Little will remain behind bars during court proceedings. As previously reported, he was ordered to remain in custody after Monday’s court hearing, which lasted about 10 minutes.
U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, alongside Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara, ATF Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Reed, FBI Special Agent in Charge Michael Krause and Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty, talked about the seriousness of the charges against Little.
One of the charges Little faces is a federal arson charge that carries between five and 20 years in prison and the other is a civil rights charge.
Luger said he and others met with victims Thursday morning and continue to look into Little’s motives for the arsons.
“These houses of worship are more then just places where people pray. They’re centers where community gathers, they have day care, they provide food for people, so it definitely has an impact on their ability to do all those other functions,” O’Hara said.
“We all want to assure the Muslim community and members of all faith communities that we respond to attacks on houses of worship at the highest levels and with the utmost urgency,” Luger said.
He added that his office is considering other civil rights charges against Little.