CORVALLIS -- A fire early Sunday morning at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center attended by Mohamed Osman Mohamud has been declared arson by the Corvallis Fire Department.
Officials said that the fire - which was contained to one room - was intentionally set.
The FBI has offered a $10,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case.
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 for Oregon. 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 fo the federal justice system to bear.
In the meantime, the FBI remains absolutely committed to protecting each and every American's right to live, work and worship in a free and safe society, he said.
A tipline has been established at (541) 766-6506. If no one picks up immediately, leave a message. As an alternate, you can call the FBI's twenty-four hour number at (503) 224-4181. Tips can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton vowed to prosecute the case aggressively.
The fact is that violent extremists come from all religions and no religion at all. For one person to blame a group, if that's what happened here, is uniquely anti-American and will be pursued with the full force of the Justice Department, he said.
Yosof Wanly, imam at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center, said 80 percent of the center's office was burned, but the worship areas were untouched.
Wanly has been advised by friends to take his family out of their home, and to another person's house due to the possibility of hate crimes, he said. I'm going to look into it, especially because my face has been on the news a lot.
Wanly said the local populace has always been accepting of Muslims.
The common scene here is to be very friendly, accepting various cultures and religions, Wanly said. The Islamic center has been here for 40 years, it's more American than most Americans with regards to age.
After daybreak, members gathered at the center, where a broken window had been boarded up.
I've prayed for my family and friends, because obviously if someone was deliberate enough to do this, what's to stop them from coming to our homes and our schools? said Mohamed Alyagouri, a 31-year-old father of two who worships at the center. I'm afraid for my children getting harassed from their teachers, maybe from their friends.
The fire was called in at 2:16 a.m. by a police officer who noticed smoke from the building.
The response included 16 fire fighters, two engines and a ladder truck.
The fire was contained fairly quickly. There were no injuries.