Man arrested for hate crime in fire at Ore. mosque

Published:

 

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A 24-year-old man has been arrested on hate crime charges for the November firebombing of a mosque in Corvallis, Ore., where the suspect in a Portland, Ore., bomb plot once worshipped, a federal law enforcement official said Thursday.

The suspect in the Corvallis firebombing was identified as Cody Crawford, who lived a block from the mosque. Shortly after the firebombing, authorities searched his home.

The firebombing came two days after the arrest in Portland of Mohamed Osman Mohamud in an FBI sting. He is charged with attempting to bomb a Christmas tree lighting ceremony attended by thousands in a downtown square.

Court documents and friends describe Crawford as a young man with a drinking problem and minor run-ins with the law. Authorities turned their attention quickly to him after he said a flashlight found at the scene of the firebombing looked like his and it had disappeared from his porch.

In the search, police and the FBI took DNA samples and seized computers, digital camera equipment, a gas can and a lighter from his house and sent the evidence off to be examined.

Crawford insisted in an Associated Press interview that he was "100 percent innocent."

In the Portland case, Mohamud has pleaded not guilty to attempting to detonate a weapon of mass destruction, and his defense lawyers have suggested they're going to mount a defense based on entrapment.