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Man accused of setting fire to mosques arrested in Mankato


Jackie Rahm Little's musghot after his court appearance Monday morning.


A man accused of setting a fire in two Minneapolis Mosques and vandalizing U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis district office was arrested in Mankato Monday morning. He faces charges in federal court.


Jackie Rahm Little, 36, is charged with setting two fires in the Masjid Omar Islamic center and the Masjid Al Rahma Mosque. He made his initial court appearance on Monday morning.


Little is alleged to have set a fire in the Masjid Omar Islamic Center the evening of April 27. Federal charges allege that he set fire to a cardboard box before being chased out of the Center by an employee. Partially melted gas cans were left at the scene.


The next evening, Little is accused of going to the Masjid Al Rahma Mosque. Forty people, including children, had to be evacuated; the building’s third floor was significantly damaged. Investigators found cardboard and seven metal olive oil canisters, as well as a plastic gas can.


Little was also accused of several acts of vandalism in early January. On the same day, federal agents say he shoplifted spray paint from a Target on Nicollet Mall, and then proceeded to tag a Somali police officer’s cruiser, the entryway of a marketplace known as Somali Mall, and U.S. Rep. Omar’s Minneapolis district office.


Federal agents say Little is also responsible for emailing Rep. Omar photos of a Quran being urinated on and a bloody ear, among other things.


The federal charges say that Little’s mother told investigators Little has had previous incidents against Muslim people, including “extensively harassing a Muslim female” while he was in transitional housing. She stated that she firmly believes he was involved in the incidents.


Little appeared in federal court Monday morning, where he was ordered to remain in custody until his next court appearance at 11 a.m. Thursday.


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