DEARBORN, Mich. — The FBI said there was “no indication” that a suspect charged with starting a fire at the Al-Huda Islamic Center mosque and shooting Dearborn officers at the exterior was politically or ideologically motivated.
FBI Detroit Bureau special agent Josh Hauxhurst told a crowd of more than 150 gathered inside the Dearborn mosque on Saturday that there was no evidence that suspect Ahmed Taqi, who was killed in the attack by the police, acted as part of a group Either.
“He may be the only person who knows why he set the fire,” Hauxhurst told members of the Al-Huda community, religious leaders from across the region and members of the public and media who gathered. Saturday.
“We often see motives telegraphing in cases. We didn’t see that in this case,” Hauxhurst said.
Dearborn Mayor Abdullah H. Hammoud, FBI and City of Dearborn officials hosted the community event Saturday morning to provide an update on the ongoing federal and local investigation into the Feb. 12 incident.
“The goal here was to demonstrate that what happened a week ago was an isolated incident…and we are wholeheartedly in unity,” Hammoud said.
There have been no threats against places of worship in the city since the incident, Hammoud said.
Taqi is an Iraqi national who worked as a translator, Hammoud said, but he could not say if he was Sunni or Shia or if he worked for the US military.
Dearborn Police Chief Issa Shahin said the suspect shot officers outside the mosque within three seconds of arriving, which was when they found the mosque on fire around 1:10 a.m.
Taqi fled on foot and police followed him for 19 minutes and begged him to drop his gun, Shahin said. The suspect fired again at the officers who returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.
Hammoud said officers had already discovered the fire and were on the scene before 9-1-1 calls arrived because the city has regular neighborhood patrols.
Officials said Taqi had a history of mental illness and several 9-1-1 calls were made to his family’s home in Dearborn and to an Oakland County resident, some of which resulted in hospitalization, a statement said. Hammoud said.
Police said how the suspect obtained the weapon is still under investigation and it has not been determined whether it was purchased legally. Shahin said he did not have a concealed gun license.
Community members cheered after many speakers made their comments. Khalil Othman, of Dearborn, still had questions, asking the group to explain his comment on social media that the suspect suffered from a mental illness.
“This guy is 37 years old and he lives in our community. They said he had mental health issues. So I’m sure there have been reports of this guy throughout his life.” Othman said. “I’m really glad the FBI confirmed there was no political or ideological motive, but part two is still up in the air.”
There are two investigations into the matter: the mosque arson is being investigated by the FBI with the support of the Dearborn police and the shooting is being investigated by the Detroit police. of Michigan with the Detroit Police Department.
U.S. Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., attended the community meeting Saturday, saying the country is not divided, it’s disconnected.
“It’s a place of peace where we all come together with our families,” Tlaib said of the mosque. “It’s a place that needs to be sacred, it needs to be protected. To see inner faith connected and people coming together is a beautiful thing.”
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