November 28th, 2010
06:48 PM ET

Oregon mosque attended by bomb plot suspect target of apparent arson

The FBI announced a $10,000 reward Sunday for information leading to the arrest of the person or people responsible for an apparent attack on an Oregon Islamic center that was attended by the man authorities say was behind a foiled bomb plot at a recent Portland Christmas tree lighting.

A fire appears to have started sometime early Sunday morning at the Salman AlFarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon, authorities said. The building suffered some fire and smoke damage.

Mohamed Osman Mohamud, who was seized in connection with the plan to detonate what he thought was an explosives-laden van at a Portland tree-lighting ceremony Friday night, occasionally attended the center, the mosque's imam told CNN.

The blaze - discovered by a police officer who was driving by - was likely set intentionally, said Carla Pusateri, a fire prevention officer with the Corvallis Fire Department.

"We have made it quite clear that the FBI will not tolerate any kind of retribution or attack on the Muslim community," said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon, on Sunday. "We are working very closely with the leadership at the mosque. We will find the person responsible for this attack and bring the full force of the federal justice system to bear."

"I was shocked," said Imam Yosof Wanly of the Salman AlFarisi Islamic Center, in response to a question about how he felt when he learned of Mohamud's arrest.

Mohamud is a 19-year-old naturalized U.S. citizen from Somalia.

"I wish I could have intervened in a way to consult him. I wish he could have spoken to me," said Wanly, his voice breaking with emotion. "He destroyed his future."

–CNN's Paul Vercammen contributed to this report.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Houses of worship • Mosque • United States • Violence

soundoff (455 Responses)
  1. Chat

    Keep up the wonderful work, I read few blog posts on this internet site and I conceive that your web blog is rattling interesting and holds bands of great info.


    October 5, 2013 at 5:02 am |
  2. A CNN Reader

    "We have made it quite clear that the FBI will not tolerate any kind of retribution or attack on the Muslim community," said Arthur Balizan, special agent in charge of the FBI in Oregon," yeah but they wont do a damn thing when the Muslim's attack us... go figure....

    December 6, 2010 at 11:39 am |
  3. shaki

    why would they do anything this bad!

    December 1, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  4. shaki


    December 1, 2010 at 6:12 pm |
  5. OSU student

    Islam and it's best friend terrorism finally come to my own town. If Corvallis doesn't modernize and tame Islam, nothing will and we are in deep sh**.

    November 30, 2010 at 8:19 pm |
    • UW Student

      Sorry to break this to you but, Islam has been in Corvallis for over 30 years and many OSU students body and faculty are Muslims, as far as terrorism being Islam’s best friend that is incorrect. True Islam is against killing innocents let alone children. You along with the Muslim community in Corvallis and elsewhere feel betrayed and denounce the acts of individuals that associate terror with Islam. My heart goes out to family members that where attending the Christmas lighting in Portland and I am ashamed that this young man calls himself a Muslim, and I am also ashamed to see such hate exuding in these threads against others. May you all have a blessed day and peace be with you all.

      December 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm |
  6. Mary

    Christianity... What an awful, awful religion. Read your own book

    Look up evil bible . com

    November 30, 2010 at 2:25 am |
  7. Jebus sabes

    It was Jebus with a lightning bolt in the alley!!

    November 30, 2010 at 2:00 am |
  8. Jebus sabes

    I bet the arsonist was Jebus with a lightnin bolt. Gods are strong. Fighting terror with terror. Crazy thought but it would never work. Its best if we all just keep being scared and handing over our rights one by one. What kind of new law willl get passed out of all of this. Freedom is scary. If someone has control over everything that takes a lot of the fear out of life. I like it. You drive FBI, CIA, White House, NSA, Law Enforcement, I dont like the responsibility. Continue on with absurd rambling, etc.etc.etc.

    November 30, 2010 at 1:57 am |
  9. roz

    most Americans do not blame the whole for what the few of the whole will do . we know most Muslims are against this violence . acts of violence against anyone is wrong no matter what your faith may be.

    November 29, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
  10. roz

    most americans do not blame the whole for what a few will do. there is bad in all groups of people as well as good . most are law abiding and love america . we all weep for what the few would do to us all.

    November 29, 2010 at 9:36 pm |
  11. Keith

    I think it was an alleged 'arson'. Perhaps spontaneous combustion? Perhaps CAIR called the mosque and had them start the fire, knowing full well all the sympathy these whiners will get from an all too willing left-wing media. Okay FBI, make the check out to 'Keith'.....

    November 29, 2010 at 8:17 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.