New charge filed against Indiana man for toledo mosque arson
A federal grand jury returned a superseding indictment charging an Indiana man with hate crimes stemming from the arson of the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo, law enforcement officials announced today.
Randolph Linn, 52, of St. Joe, Indiana, was charged with (1) intentionally defacing, damaging and destroying religious real property because of the religious character of that property, (2) using fire to commit a felony and (3) using and carrying a firearm to commit a crime of violence.
The third count was added to the earlier two-count indictment, which was returned in October.
Count one charged Linn with intentionally damaging religious real property, because of the religious character of that property.
In this case, Linn drove on Sept. 30, 2012, from Indiana to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo in Perrysburg, Ohio, and after unlawfully entering the center, used gasoline to set fire to the Islamic Center’s prayer room, according to the indictment.
Count two charged Linn with using fire to commit a felony.
Count three charged Linn with carrying or using a firearm to commit a crime of violence.
The Perrysburg Township Fire Department was notified at about 4:58 p.m. on Sept. 30 of a fire at the Islamic Center. Officials and officers discovered a red plastic gas can in the middle of the Islamic Center’s prayer room and the carpet underneath had been burned. The fire was extinguished by a sprinkler system and there was significant damage to the prayer room and other areas of the Islamic Center. Officials and officers determined the fire had been intentionally set, according to an affidavit filed in U.S. District Court.
Security cameras at the Islamic Center captured images of a red, SUV-type vehicle in the parking lot at approximately 4:11 p.m. They also captured images of an older man, dressed in blue jeans and camouflage, who approached the front door of the Islamic Center, according to the affidavit.
Security cameras also captured images of the man walking around the inside of the Islamic Center with a firearm and a gas can and then leaving the Islamic Center at approximately 4:54 p.m., according to the affidavit.
Law enforcement officials released still photos of the surveillance video to the media on Oct. 1.
On Oct. 2, a woman contacted law enforcement and identified the man in the photos as Randolph Linn. The woman stated that she knew Linn and that he had recently made anti-Muslim comments. Specifically, she stated that Linn had complained about the international Muslim community’s reaction to the anti-Muslim video on Youtube; recent attacks on United States’ embassies and the deaths of U.S. military personnel in the Middle East. She further stated that Linn complained that Muslims in this country get a “free pass,” according to the affidavit.
The woman recognized the sweatshirt as one Linn owned and stated that the three months earlier, Linn had purchased a red, SUV-type vehicle that matched the vehicle in the surveillance footage at the Islamic Center, according to the affidavit.
Linn was arrested at his place of employment on Oct. 2. Linn’s vehicle, a red Chevy Sonic, was in the parking lot, according to the affidavit.
Linn stated that he had three firearms in his parked vehicle, according to the affidavit.
While being booked and after being read his Miranda rights, Linn stated: “(expletive) those Muslims,” according to the affidavit.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Bridget M. Brennan, Ava Dustin and Special Assistant U.S Attorney Gwen Howe-Gebers.
This case is being investigated by the Perrysburg Township Police Department, the State of Ohio Fire Marshal, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.