Monday, July 16, 2012

FBI Seeks Public’s Assistance Concerning Recent Fire at Islamic Center of Joplin

Announces $15,000 Reward for Information

KANSAS CITY—Eric K. Jackson, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Kansas City Division, announced today a combined reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of the person or persons responsible for the recent fire at the Islamic Center of Joplin. The combined $15,000 reward is comprised of $10,000 from the FBI and $5,000 from the ATF.

On the morning of July 4, 2012, at approximately 3:30 a.m., reports were received regarding a fire on the roof of the Islamic Center of Joplin. The fire, which was extinguished by the Jasper County Fire Department, was a surface fire, contained on the roof of the building, that did not penetrate the building or cause any interior damage.

A review of the surveillance video showed an unidentified white male walking up to the building and throwing an ignited object onto the roof. Below is a full-face image, taken from the surveillance video, of the individual who threw the object onto the roof of the building.

Federal law criminalizes arson and vandalism against houses of worship committed either because of the race or ethnicity of the group using the property or, in certain circumstances, because of the religious nature of the property.

This case is being investigated by the FBI, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office, the ATF, and the Missouri Division of Fire Safety.

Law enforcement is requesting the assistance of the public in this matter. Anyone with information regarding this fire or the individual depicted in the surveillance video and the photo above is requested to contact any of the investigating agencies listed.

FBI Joplin Field Office: (417) 206-5700
Jasper County Sheriff’s Office: Detective Tim Williams (417) 358-8177, ext. 1223
ATF: (417) 837-2100
Missouri Division of Fire Safety Arson Hotline: 1-800-392-7766

Additional photos and surveillance video of the suspect attempting to start the fire at Islamic Center will be distributed to members of the media at a scheduled press conference in an effort to seek the public’s assistance in identifying this individual.

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