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Man arrested for arson of Ohio Islamic center; mosques increasingly targeted

Courtesy of The Toledo Blade

A security video captures an image of a man -- believed to be Randy Linn, 52, of Indiana -- who lingered outside the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo as a fire burned inside. Linn was charged Wednesday.

Police have arrested a man they believe set fire to the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo on Sunday, the Toledo Blade reported.

Randy Linn, 52, of Saint Joe, Indiana, was charged Wednesday with two counts of arson and one count each of aggravated burglary and carrying a concealed weapon. The arson was the latest in a string of recent acts of violence, vandalism and threats against mosques since July, the beginning of Ramadan, a month of fasting for Muslims.

The arson is the latest in a string of threats and vandalism against U.S. mosques since last summer, including a mosque in Joplin, Mo. that burned down in early August – one month after it was the target of another apparent arson.


Related: Mosque in Missouri burns to the ground one month after arson attack 

 According to Thom Harmann, host of The Big Picture, the number of anti-Muslim hate groups tripled between 2010 and 2011. Since Aug. 5, nine mosques or places of worship have been vandalized or attacked across the U.S., according to the non-profit, American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee.

In Hayward, Calif., four people fired lemons, oranges, eggs and BB guns at a mosque. In Ontario, Calif., two women reportedly threw pig legs on the site of a proposed mosque, according to the ADC.

Allen County Sherriff Dept.

Randy Linn, 52, was charged Wednesday in the arson of an Islamic center in Ohio.

On Aug. 12 in Oklahoma City, vandals shot paintballs at the Grand Mosque while worshipers prayed, according to the Tulsa World.

Previously, in January, a man threw a firebomb into a mosque in Queens, N.Y., according to NBCNewYork.com. There were no injuries.

"We recommend a security guard during prayer hours,” Abed Ayoub, ADC’s legal director told NBC News. "Take measures and use common sense. Keep an eye on people who don’t seem to fit in. We ask them to install video cameras at the doors and throughout the mosque. Limit access to areas such as the kitchen, furnace or storage where someone could hide."

Related: Attacks on US mosques prompt Muslim security concerns

Back in Ohio, Linn was captured by a surveillance camera as he lingered outside the Islamic center at the time of the fire, according to the Blade. Most of the smoke and water damage took place on the second floor of the prayer room, officials told the Blade.

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