New York Arrest Suspected Arsonist Who Struck Mosque, Hindu Temple And Homes : The Two-WayNew York police are searching for an man who apparently threw flaming bottles at homes, a Hindu temple, an Islamic center and a store. They're investigating them as hate crimes. They've released a surveillance video of the suspect.
The New York City police department released a sketch and video of the suspected arsonist shown attacking a Hindu temple.
New York police have a video and a sketch they think could be the hooded man who threw burning bottles at a renowned Islamic cultural center, a small convenience store and at private homes, including one that serves as a Hindu temple. No one was hurt: authorities are investigating whether they're hate crimes.
Late on New Year's Day, someone flung a glass bottle with a burning liquid inside a New York convenience store run by Muslims. The New York Times (paywall) says it's owned by a Muslim immigrant from Yemen. The counter was scorched and the fire quickly extinguished.
In a second, more frightening attack, the assailant threw two flaming glass bottles at the Al-Khoei Foundation, an Islamic cultural center with branch offices in other countries. At least 80 people were inside when the front door was hit, says AP, but everyone got out safely.
The assailant struck a third private home that also serves as a Hindu temple. The occupants were in bed, but the Times says the Hindu priest inside was able to catch a glimpse of the man and the temple's surveillance camera recorded the attack. The flaming bottle burned on the lawn.
Victims of the fourth attack suffered the worst fire damage, according to Newsday. The couple appear to have no link to the store, mosque or temple and say they are African American Christians.
There seems to be a fifth attempted arson that occurred the same night but a little further away, in Nassau County, according to Newsday. Bejai Rai, 77, was eating dinner with his family when something that sparked hit the front window. It didn't ignite. "We could not sleep last night," Rai said. "We kept thinking, 'Who would want to kill us?'" Police are checking the case for similarities.
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and New York governor Andrew Cuomo both condemned the attacks. Bloomberg says city police are investigating whether there are links to incidents outside the city. Cuomo ordered the head of the New York state police to assist investigators.
Update at 3:58 p.m. ET. Police Make An Arrest:
New York City police say they've made an arrest in connection with a series of arsons. The AP reports the man's name was no immediately released. The wire service added:
"Police spokesman Paul Browne says he made statements implicating himself in the attacks and had personal grievances with each targeted location.
"Crude Molotov cocktails were tossed into a convenience store, two homes in Queens, one in nearby Nassau County, and an Islamic center."