Fire officials investigating arson at St. Paul mosque

Suspected arson at St. Paul Mosque

Suspected arson at St. Paul Mosque

The St. Paul Fire Department is investigating an arson at the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center on Wednesday.

Officials say the building wasn’t occupied at the time of the fire and no one was injured.

Deputy Chief Roy Mokosso spoke during a news conference on Wednesday, along with St. Paul Mayor Melvin Carter and leaders from CAIR Minnesota.

During the news conference, Mokosso confirmed the fire was intentionally set. This marks the 6th attack on a Minnesota mosque in 2023.

[anvplayer video=”5177260″ station=”998122″]

The St. Paul Police Department said there will be increased patrol around the Oromo American Tawhid Islamic Center and other mosques on Wednesday.

The mosque, which was undergoing renovations at the time of the fire, suffered extensive damage, including heat and smoke damage, said Mokosso.

“We do not tolerate attacks against our communities of faith,” said Mayor Carter at the press conference Wednesday morning.

Carter added that the City of St. Paul hopes to add security cameras to every mosque in the city. “If you come near a mosque, prepare to say cheese,” said Carter. Those who want to contribute to the effort can go to CAIR’s website and donate any amount under the term “security.”

You can watch the full news conference in the video player above.

5 EYEWITNESS NEWS reporter Renee Cooper will have the latest on this story during this evening’s newscasts.