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Competency hearing held for former St. Kate's student accused of setting fires

June 17, 2019 06:30 PM

Lawyers for a woman accused of setting multiple fires on the campus of St. Catherine University appeared in federal court court Monday afternoon.

Twenty-one-year-old Tnuza Jamal Hassan is charged with arson and attempting to support a terrorist organization. Prosecutors say Hassan wanted to join al-Qaeda.

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Investigators say Hassan set several fires in buildings across the Saint Kate's campus in St. Paul in January 2018.

One of those buildings housed a daycare center that had 33 kids present at the time of the fire.

Investigators say Hassan told them she "wanted the school to burn to the ground" and intended to hurt people. She's also accused of saying "you guys are lucky I don't know how to buld a bomb."


More from KSTP: 

Federal trial of St. Catherine arson suspect scheduled to begin on Feb. 4

Mental health at issue for woman accused of arson, terrorism


Investigators say Hassan indicated to them she intended to travel to Afghanistan to support al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

Prosecutors allege Hassan was inspired by watching radical videos online.

In court Monday, lawyers for the government and for Hassan acknowledged a second report on Hassan's competency was complete. However, because it involves medical information, that report is sealed. 

Hassan herself was not physically present for the hearing, but did appear via video from the federal facility she's being held at in Fort Worth, Texas.

Hassan's mom and sister were in court as well but also declined to comment on the case.

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Tim Vestcher

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company

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