Arson suspected at Portland bomber's Islamic center

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
November 28, 2010 19:55

 
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Arson caused a fire at an Islamic center on Sunday that was the occasional place of worship for a Somali-born teen who two days ago was arrested on charges of plotting a terror attack in Portland, authorities said.

Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer for the Corvallis Fire Department, said the fire at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center was set early Sunday morning. She says "quite a bit of evidence" was left at the scene, which led her to believe the fire was intentionally set.

No injuries have been reported.

The Islamic center was frequented by Mohamed Osman Mohamud, a 19-year-old held on charges of plotting to carry out a terror attack at a Christmas tree lighting ceremony in Portland on Friday.

Yosof Wanly, imam at the center, said 80 percent of the center's office was burned, but the worship areas were untouched.

Wanly said he has been advised by friends to take his family out of their home, and is debating whether to do so.

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