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An ex-convict got 30 years for setting fire to a mosque visited by the Orlando shooter

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An ex-convict who investigators say confessed to setting fire to a mosque visited by the Orlando nightclub shooter was sentenced to 30 years in prison. 

Joseph Schreiber, 32, entered a no contest plea to second-degree arson in court during Monday's hearing.  


Investigators previously said Schreiber confessed to setting fire to the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce, saying he believed Muslims "are trying to infiltrate our government."

Schreiber who is Jewish, also posted to Facebook last July, shortly after gunman Omar Mateen opened fire at Pulse nightclub on June 12, saying that "All Islam is radical" and Muslims should be treated as terrorists, according to the Sun-Sentinel

In court, however, Schreiber read a written statement saying he didn't set the fire because of hate, but because of his anxiety. According to the Sun-Sentinel, Schreiber said in court that he feared there would be another 9-11 or Pulse nightclub shooting.

He reportedly joined a Messianic Jewish group in an effort to fit into his community.

Ralph Alfonso told the Sun-Sentinel Schreiber had previously made negative comments about Muslims, despite people in the group telling him "that's not what we believe." 

Schreiber has previously served two sentences in state prison for theft. 


The damage from the fire was so extensive that mosque leaders recently announced that it will be moved to a new location. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

An ex-convict got 30 years for setting fire to a mosque visited by the Orlando shooter

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