News24

'I burned mosque to avenge troops'

2012-12-20 12:06

Toledo - A former Marine admitted on Wednesday that he broke into a mosque and set fire to a prayer rug because he wanted revenge for the killings of American troops overseas.

Randy Linn pleaded guilty to hate crime charges, saying he'd become enraged after seeing images of wounded soldiers in the news.

"Every day you turn on the TV, you see Muslims trying to kill Americans," said Linn, a truck driver from Indiana

When asked by a federal judge whether he thought all Muslims are terrorists, he answered: "I'd say most of them are."

A deal between prosecutors and Linn, 52, calls for him to be sentenced to 20 years next April. He pleaded guilty to intentionally damaging and destroying religious property and two gun-related charges.

US District Judge Jack Zouhary told Linn that his acts were an attack on all places of religion and that the mosque was a symbol of peace.

"You are no better than the terrorists or extremists you sought to punish," Zouhary said.

Prosecutors said Linn drove about two hours from his home to suburban Toledo on 30 September and broke into the mosque where he poured gasoline on the rug and lit it on fire.

He estimated that he had drunk 45 beers over several hours before he decided to drive to Ohio.

Linn had several firearms in his car and carried a gun into the mosque, which was empty at the time.

Heart wrenching

US Attorney Steven Dettelbach said it was fortunate no one was there. "This is a man who had intolerance in his heart and acted with hate," he said. "We can count ourselves lucky."

Linn said he went room by room to make sure no one was in the building. "I was drinking a beer while I was doing that," he said.

A sprinkler system extinguished the blaze, leaving smoke and water damage in the prayer room of the facility, whose golden dome is a landmark along Interstate 75. No one was hurt.

Members of the Islamic centre have been unable to use the building and expect repairs to be finished by the end of March.

Dr Mahjabeen Islam, president of the Islamic Centre, said its members been overwhelmed by support from the community and churches. But she was saddened by Linn's statements in court.

"It was heart-wrenching to hear him speak because the ignorance and intolerance is still palpable," she said. "This is an individual who knows nothing about Islam."

A woman who knows Linn had identified him in publicised surveillance images and contacted authorities, according to a court affidavit.

The woman told law enforcement officers that Linn had made comments complaining about the deaths of US military members in the Middle East, recent attacks on US embassies and Muslims' angry reactions to an anti-Islam video posted online.

Assistant US Attorney Ava Dustin said Linn told his son two weeks before the fire that he wanted to burn down the mosque.

Linn said he started to have second thoughts when he drove home. "Coming back, I thought, 'What in the heck did I do?'"

"I feel bad I did it," he said. "It's a little too late now."

Comments
  • neljenna - 2012-12-20 12:16

    This is a bunch of BS. I read the first 2 paragraphs and I am speechless. "Most of Muslims are terrorists!! Where have u been the last 10-12 years buddy. YOU are the bloody terrorist!! (American Government) NOT THE MUSLIMS, They in fact are more kind-hearted and generous than 80% of the so called people who call themselves "Christians". Get your facts straight man! 20 years.... make it the death penalty!!

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 12:33

      This is not Pakistan or Iran where people get the death penalty for insulting Islam. There are many cases of Islamists destroying churches and synagogues, do you believe they should die too, or only people who burn prayer rugs?

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-12-20 12:42

      Not sure what fact planet you live on but death for setting fire to a prayer rug where "A sprinkler system extinguished the blaze, leaving smoke and water damage in the prayer room of the facility" ? Bring it down a peg , I see your flagrant anti-americanism is quick to extreme measure and 'jusitice'.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 14:39

      Gert! Stop drinking beers!

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 15:32

      @abuzakariyah.abrahams - Never mind. My quotes from the quran was deleted. It is too hard core for the average person to hear.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 15:42

      Gert you come across as an angry person.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 16:00

      @abuzakariyah.abrahams - No, i am not angry. I am anti-religious. Because religion has and is causing the world extreme harm. And islam is at the forefront of creating all this harm. Islam is a treat to human dignity, womens rights and freedom of speech. You just witnessed how my post got deleted by News24 and I merely quoted the quran.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 16:05

      Gert jy het die kat aan die stert beet.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 18:02

      @abuzakariyah.abrahams - More of my posts deleted - and I merely quoted the quran! Why?

  • abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 12:24

    Its unfortunate that Islamophobes know absolutely nothing about Islam.

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-12-20 12:36

      No, they know about the violent nature of the extremists who seem to have infiltrated and corrupted Islam. It might not be the whole picture, but what they are exposed to in the world news, is what they believe. Were muslims to unite and discredit the violent nature of the extremists, the world might be exposed to a more balanced view.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 12:43

      So what don't they know? That rape victims are stoned in Moslem countries? That pedophilia and slavery are allowed? Do they not know about go our killings or Sunnis blowing up Shiites and vice versa?

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 12:46

      exactly my point about Islamphobes :)

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 12:50

      Are you denying that these things happen in Moslem countries?

      Billy - 2012-12-20 12:57

      yea... , kill the infidels hey? some rubbish different banner

      sarah.bouttell - 2012-12-20 12:59

      Rather than remaining a denialist of atrocities committed by one religious sect or another, I have chosen to listen and learn. I am not so naive as to believe the word of one person, but rather listen to the many voices who have their own stories to tell of the horrors experienced in the name of religion. You are as judgmental as the islamaphobes you complain of.

      allcoveredinNinjas - 2012-12-20 13:34

      I'm not sure why I should be forced to 'like' Islam when I would be executed for my beliefs in the overwhelming majority of Muslim countries . Look up Alexander Aan and his treatment in one of the more 'progressive' and most populace Islamic states (also see: Ibn Warraq, Nahla Mahmoud,Kacem el-Ghazzali,Alber Saber Ayad). Then of course leaving the faith is a bit tricky too . I don't really know why I would need to know more than that to reserve a negative opinion without been called a Islamaphobe . Those are deal breakers for me and not the only ones.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 13:45

      For starters: Islam does not mean peace. it means to submit to the will of God Then the 5 pillars of Islam 1. Belief in the Oneness of God and the prophethood of Muhammad pbuh 2.Establish the 5 daily prayers 3.Concern for and almsgiving to the needy 4.Self-purification through fasting 5.The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 13:55

      and believe in the same God of Jesus, Moses, Ismael, Isaac, Abraham, Noah etc. And that Mary the mother of Jesus was the best woman to walk the face of the earth. Peace be upon them all. And to prostrate/pray like they did.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 14:43

      Gert had 45 too many

      zuma.compound - 2012-12-20 15:28

      Its a shame that so called moderate Muslims never speak out against the terrorism commited by the militant Muslims.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 16:01

      @abuzakariyah.abrahams - I merely quote islamic texts and you choose to insult me?

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 16:11

      Gert, you the one that wants to burn all mosques and churches down. Everything aside now. The issue is that you do not believe in the One and only God that does not share power with any.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 17:58

      @abuzakariyah.abrahams - How can you expect me to believe in something that does not exist.

      abuzakariyah.abrahams - 2012-12-20 22:05

      @ Gert. Its not for me to expect anything from you. But do you think that the manner in which the galaxy is constructed with planets perfectly aligned in orbit is by chance. Or how a simple seed can turn into a tree and bear fruit for your sustanance. Or how you are blessed with eyesight. Surely this is not by chance!

  • hudayfah.newman - 2012-12-20 12:51

    Oh dear. What a wacko. Your country invades other countries for oil and you call most muslims terrorists. Why don't you call up Kofi Anan and ask him who will answer for the 100 000 civilians killed in Iraq for supposed chemical weapons. You lot have been electing terrorists for the last decade under the guise of presidents and goverment officials.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 13:05

      Ha ha it was saddam himself who invaded Kuwait for their oil, he also murdered thousands of Kurds. Ps most of those civilians were murdered by other Moslems, all done in the name of the"religion of peace".

      hudayfah.newman - 2012-12-20 13:23

      So after Kofi Anan,who had a front seat, admitted they killed those civilians, you go on and blame the muslims for killing their own. Anything to blame the Muslims for the killings hey, even if it sounds stupid.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 13:27

      Just did a google search, Annan said no such thing please provide a link.

  • derek.bredenkamp.3 - 2012-12-20 13:01

    Idiots believe revenge is a good thing.

  • Derek Chapman - 2012-12-20 13:02

    He drank 45 beers and took a two hour trip to get there?? Holy Toledo

  • arthur.salvado - 2012-12-20 13:19

    Nothing new. It's been going on for thousands of years and will continue for thousands more unless ............. You guessed it. Someone, sometime, somewhere will do something bad in a big scale and then it will end. Maybe all of it and I mean the planet. All silly boys.

  • Rashida Patel - 2012-12-20 14:47

    Agh shame ! Americans invade and kill muslim women and children ,and theis idiot regards muslims as terrorists ? Just what is being reported on american news. Eeesh

  • steele.oyle - 2012-12-20 15:56

    Roast his nuts!

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 16:01

      Give him a medal!

  • steele.oyle - 2012-12-20 16:01

    Lock him up and throw away the keys. This Islamophobe could turn out to be the next Breivick or fundamentalist wade Michael page.

      avremel.niselow - 2012-12-20 16:33

      Life in jail for burning a rug? What's next, the death penalty for speeding?

      carryn.whittaker - 2012-12-20 20:57

      Breaking and entering, damaging religious property, drunk driving and two gun related charges. Irrespective of my particular religious affilliations I wouldn't want him in my neighbourhood. If he did it to a temple some may say he was an anti semite, if he was a muslim and did it in a church we would call him a terrorist. But hey he is white and acted against the Muslims so let's just call it burning a rug to trivialise his radicalism and make it appear acceptable.

  • Philip - 2012-12-20 16:45

    I'd say Randy Linn got it right. Since when is a mosque a symbol of peace? You can fool some of the people some of the time.... It's not just a handful of radicals making muslims name tottie, 99% of them do it.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 17:59

      Agree. I have never heard a muslim condemning islamist violence - because all of them agree!

      Faizal - 2012-12-20 18:48

      Gert and philip.you are just as ignorant and stupid !may God open your hearts to Islam.

      gert.swart.393 - 2012-12-20 19:54

      @Faizal - But you, who believe in a god that was made up by a 7th century illiterate is not ignorant and stupid?

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 08:08

      Neither of you have any understanding of the Muslim religion. Rather get an education on it then comment because all you're managing to do is show your ignorance.

      joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 08:12

      // But you, who believe in a god that was made up by a 7th century illiterate is not ignorant and stupid? // It's not stupid or ignorant to believe in a deity. They choose to believe (even though they can't be 100% sure) whereas you choose to not believe (even though you can't be 100% sure). Would that not then make you ignorant and stupid as well? You don't have to like/accept an individuals religious persuation but at least be mature about it. :/

  • Gorden Norman - 2012-12-20 18:55

    Whenever there is a report which is damming for the Islamic pro's then no comments from them. When it is nothing bad about Islam wow here they are out of the woodwork.

  • scholesss - 2012-12-20 19:50

    good job...

  • joe.soapie.73 - 2012-12-21 08:04

    // "Every day you turn on the TV, you see Muslims trying to kill Americans," said Linn // You guys shouldn't have invaded them then, should you? Stupid hick.

  • pages:
  • 1