Investigators confirm Houston Islamic center fire was deliberately set
Aftermath of Quba Institute fire (screen capture)

Arson investigators have found evidence that some form of accelerant was used in the suspicious fire at a Houston, Texas Islamic center on Friday.


ABC News reported that the Council on American-Islamic Relations is asking law enforcement to investigate the fire as a hate crime.

The Houston Fire Department said late on Friday that preliminary investigation reveals that an accelerant was used to ignite and spread the fire, which indicates that the fire was a purposeful act.

The fire at the Quba Islamic Institute started around 5 a.m. on Friday and burned for more than an hour, gutting a storage building, but leaving the center's school and mosque largely unburnt.

Fire officials met with leaders at another Houston mosque to warn them to be wary of intruders.

Members of the Quba Institute said they chased a masked man off the property earlier in the week and that there have been other acts of vandalism against the Islamic center.

Hala Saadeh, a member of the community center, told ABC, "The first thing we think about is hate crimes that could go on. It says right on the front -- Islamic Institute. We're not hiding ourselves."

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