Documents reveal rantings of mosque fire suspect
Saturday, August 27, 2011
EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — The 24-year-old man being held in last year’s firebombing of an Oregon mosque ranted about Muslims and referred to himself as a “Christian warrior” weeks after the arrest of a Muslim man accused of plotting to set off a car bomb in Portland, according to court documents.
Cody Crawford was arrested Wednesday night in the Nov. 28 firebombing in Corvallis. He was indicted on charges of damaging religious property for racial reasons, which is a hate crime, and using fire to commit a felony.
A judge on Thursday ordered Crawford held in jail while legal proceedings go forward.
“This was an attack on religious freedom and an attack on the American way of life,” said Dwight Holton, U.S. attorney for Oregon.
The mosque firebombing occurred just two days after FBI agents arrested a Somali-American, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, in a sting operation at Portland’s annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Mohamud was charged with plotting to kill people at the ceremony by igniting a car bomb.
Mohamud had occasionally worshipped at the Corvallis mosque.
The mosque’s office burned, but nobody was hurt.
Court documents show three weeks after the mosque firebombing, in unrelated encounters with police, Crawford ranted about Muslims, said Christians are capable of jihad and told an officer he resembled President Barack Obama.
“You look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too,” a court document quotes Crawford as telling a McMinnville officer Dec. 14.
The document says Crawford told officers “only Christians could understand him, that he was a Christian warrior that they were persecuting,” and that “you will never know the truth about the mosque.”