Washington, DC – Minnesota, a city with the largest Muslim-Somali population in the United States has a problem and one that it is struggling to come to terms with. On Friday, a Muslim-Somali woman who claims she was angry with U.S. military actions in Muslim countries, was charged with setting several fires at a Minnesota university.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, is alleged to have confessed to investigators that she started multiple fires on her former college campus last week, including one in a dormitory housing a day care center.
Hassan was charged with first-degree arson and was held Friday night in the Ramsey County Jail on $100,000 bail. According to the criminal complaint,
“Hassan stated she started the fires because she’s been reading about the US military destroying schools in Iraq or Afghanistan and she felt that she should do exactly the same thing.”
“She said that her fire-starting was not as successful as she wanted.”
No one was injured by the fires and most of the damage was limited to the university’s equipment, according to the school. A sprinkler system at the day care center, where 33 children and eight adults were present, prevented the spread of the fire. Had Hassan been more competent, countless children may have died from her action.
Hassan allegedly harbored radical ideas and wrote a letter to her roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate (to America).”
The criminal complaint also claims that Hassan told police and fire investigators that,
“You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”
“Hassan said she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people.”
“Hassan said this was that same thing that happened in ‘Muslim land’ and nobody cares if they get hurt, so why not do this?”
The university said Hassan was enrolled at the university in the fall 2017 semester but eventually dropped out because she and her family were planning a vacation to Ethiopia, a predominantly Muslim country in the eastern part of Africa.
Although law enforcement officials did not disclose Hassan’s nationality, citing privacy laws, an investigator who is familiar with the matter and spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that Hassan is a Muslim-Somali.
Minneapolis is home to the country’s largest Muslim-Somali population and the lack of assimilation by the community has caused many issues for the city. Just last year, a Muslim-Somali policeman shot and killed a white woman at point blank range, an investigation into the murder is still ongoing. Another white woman was also attacked by a Muslim-Somali man and stabbed 14 times near her home, her attacker remains at large.