Plymouth Man Charged with Federal Hate Crime After Mosque Arsons
A Plymouth man was charged with a federal hate crime on May 4 after allegedly starting fires at two south Minneapolis mosques.
Jackie Little, 36, was indicted on one count of damage to religious property in addition to a federal arson charge, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.
Prosecutors allege that Little started a fire in the bathroom of the Masjid Omar Islamic Center on April 23. Little then allegedly started a fire at the Masjid Al Rahma mosque the next day. More than 40 people including children were evacuated from the building.
The fire resulted in damage that “likely totaled tens of thousands of dollars,” according to the indictment.
Little is also accused of vandalizing U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Minneapolis office, the entryway of a Somali marketplace and a Somali police officer’s squad car.
Plymouth police helped federal investigators identify Little in surveillance footage, as he had been a suspect in a previous arson investigation.
“Little has a known history of arson or suspected arson, including incidents in May 2022 and December 2021,” the indictment reads. “Little also has several documented incidents of domestic assault and other violent crime as recently as March 2023.”
Little’s mother told federal investigators that he “has had a fascination with fire from a young age,” according to the indictment.
She also told investigators that “while Little was living in transitional housing, Little extensively harassed a Muslim female.”
Little has faced several civil commitment cases due to mental illness.