TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – This arsonist means business, dirty business. Security camera video from the New Tampa Mosque shows him suited up with gloves, a mask, a helmet and a hazmat suit.
At first, he tries to set a gasoline rope on fire, hoping it would ignite a gas container.
When that doesn’t work, he pours gas on the sidewalk and lights it.
With no explosion, he returns. Off camera, he sets the gas on fire and runs off as flames and smoke grow.
After looking at the video, members of the mosque have even more questions about the mindset of a deranged person.
“It is disturbing. Somebody who was intent to harm the place that you do your prayer at, it’s disturbing. I mean, why somebody want to do that?” asked Adeeb Bulkhi.
Right after the February 24th arson, people of all faiths rallied behind the Muslim community.
As members surveyed the damage, the church next-door offered their facility for prayers.
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn made a pledge.
“What ever occurred here, we will find out. The perpetrator will be punished, but we cannot allow as a community anybody to be victimized, to feel vulnerable, to be attacked for any reason,” he said.
The fire damage is repaired. The door glass, replaced. The camera that caught the arsonist still peers down.
“To think that, if this was a few hours earlier, God forbid, having any of the congregates here and having to witness that or be inside the mosque when this occurred” said Aida Mackic, of CAIR Florida.
Anyone with any information about the suspect is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200, or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of this suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477). You can report anonymously online or send a mobile tip using the P3 Tips Mobile application, which is a free download for iPhones, iPads and Droids. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.
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