(WASHINGTON, D.C., 9/3/12) -- A prominent national Muslim civil rights and advocacy organizations today welcomed the arrest of a suspect in an arson attack on an Ohio mosque.
The Washington-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) also urged state and federal law enforcement authorities to consider hate crime charges in the case if a bias motive is determined.
Indiana State Police yesterday announced the arrest of Randy Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Ind. Linn was arrested in Fort Wayne, Ind., and is alleged to be the "person of interest" shown in surveillance photographs in connection with an intentionally-set fire Sunday at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo. He is being held pending extradition to Ohio. Police officials say Linn will be charged with two counts of arson, and one count each of aggravated burglary and carrying a concealed weapon.
CAIR: Man Arrested in Arson at Islamic Center of Greater Toledo
Yesterday, CAIR offered a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator.
Video: CAIR Offers $5K Reward for Info on Ohio Mosque Arson
"We welcome this arrest and thank all the law enforcement agencies involved for their swift and professional actions," said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. "Now we must determine whether there was a bias motive in this case and apply appropriate charges based on the results of that determination."
Awad said he will travel to Toledo on Friday to take part in an interfaith event in support of the mosque.
In September, CAIR called on the FBI to investigate hate vandalism at mosques in Virginia and New York. In August, CAIR asked authorities to investigate a suspicious fire at a mosque in Minnesota.
SEE: Bias Graffiti Found on North Bay Shore Mosque
Video: CAIR Rep Speaks at Interfaith Rally for Vandalized Va. Mosque
Also last month, CAIR submitted written testimony for a Senate hearing on hate crimes and the threat of domestic extremism. The hearing was prompted by the national string of violent and deadly attacks targeting Sikhs and American Muslims and their institutions and houses of worship.
SEE: Calif. Mosque Receiving Hate Mail
Video: Islamophobia in America, Part 1 (CAIR)
Video: Islamophobia in America, Part 2 (CAIR)
The testimony, submitted for the hearing by CAIR and published online, includes information on the rise of "107 anti-Muslim hate crimes in 2009 to 160 in 2010" and the "thirteen days in August, the days immediately after the shocking murders of Sikh worshippers in Wisconsin, [when] there were 8 incidents in which Muslim places of worship were targeted."
SEE: CAIR's Written Testimony to Senate Hearing
CAIR-WA: FBI Launches Hate Crime Probe of Vandalism Targeting Muslims
CAIR's testimony also provides a listing of active anti-Muslim groups and individuals in the United States and recommendations on how to put an end to "the full range of threats posed by individual and organized perpetrators of violent hate crimes and criminal acts of domestic extremism."
In advance of the hearing, CAIR issued "Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012," a preliminary report on a spike in anti-mosque incidents that occurred in late August.
CAIR Report: Thirteen Days in Ramadan 2012
Muslim individuals and institutions are being asked to review advice on security procedures in CAIR's "Community Security and Safety Tips."
SEE: CAIR Community Safety and Security Tips
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR-Cleveland Executive Director Julia A. Shearson, 216-830-2247 or 216-440-2247, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, E-Mail: email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, 202-341-4171, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org