Oregon man faces hate crime charges in mosque attack

Aug 25, 2011

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Federal prosecutors have charged a 24-year-old man in a suspected arson attack on a Corvallis mosque. Cody Seth Crawford was arraigned Thursday in a federal court in Eugene. He's charged with a hate crime.

The fire last November damaged an office at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center. Crawford lived just down the street from the mosque and was questioned by FBI agents shortly after the blaze.

U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton announced the arrest during a press conference outside the mosque.

"The attack on the Islamic Center was an attack on religious freedom," he said. "And it was, as such, an attack on the American way of life."

Mosque elder Mozafar Wanly says he appreciates the work that led up to the arrest.

"We support the government. We'd like this country to be protected with any way they decide."

The attack on the mosque last November came just days after authorities arrested a former Oregon State University student for allegedly plotting to set off a bomb in Portland's Pioneer Courthouse Square. Mohamed Osman Mohamud occasionally worshipped at the Corvallis mosque, but leaders there denounced his alleged crimes.

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