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Press Release

Minnesota Man Indicted for Mosque Arson

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

A Minnesota man was indicted on one count of arson and one count of damage to religious property, for setting fire to a mosque.

According to court documents, on April 23, at approximately 7:00 p.m., Jackie Rahm Little, 36, started a fire in the bathroom of the Masjid Omar Islamic Center. On April 24, just before 7:00 p.m., Little was captured on surveillance video entering the Masjid Al-Rahma. Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out on the third floor of the mosque, and the building was evacuated.

Little, who was arrested in Mankato on April 29, was arraigned Thursday morning in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Cowan Wright. He was ordered to remain in detention pending further court proceedings.

The FBI, the ATF, the Minneapolis Police Department and the Hennepin County Sheriff’s Office investigated the case, with assistance from the Justice Department’s Civil Rights and National Security Divisions, the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office and the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office.

Assistant Attorney General Kristen Clarke of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division and U.S. Attorney Andrew W. Lugar for the District of Minnesota made the announcement.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Manda M. Sertich for the District of Minnesota, Trial Attorney Justin Sher of the National Security Division’s Counterterrorism Section and Special Litigation Counsel Samantha Trepel of the Civil Rights Division’s Criminal Section are prosecuting the case.

An indictment is merely an allegation. All defendants are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated May 5, 2023

National Security
Civil Rights
Press Release Number: 23-525