A Seattle-area mosque was burned Saturday morning, and a man was charged with arson, our partner at KOMO News reports.
Officials said the man charged, who was not publicly identified, had been arrested near the mosque before.
Firefighters arrived at the Islamic Center of the Eastside in Bellevue, Wash., at 2:49 a.m. Saturday to find 40-foot flames. About half of the building was lost, but firefighters preserved some holy books and electronic equipment.
Officials and religious leaders gave updates on the situation Saturday.
We view this as an attack on our entire community.
There have been repeated incidents of threats and vandalism at the Bellevue mosque and others nearby in recent months. A man was charged this week with a hate crime for threatening people there on Jan. 6, and a granite sign outside the Muslim Association of Puget Sound in neighboring Redmond was damaged twice. A crowdfunding campaign for the Bellevue mosque has raised more than $100,000.
No one was hurt in the incident.
Locals dropped off flowers and balloons in solidarity.