Man gets probation for setting Oregon mosque fire in 2010
PORTLAND — A man who authorities say set fire to an Oregon mosque after hearing about a thwarted terror plot has been sentenced to probation.
Cody Crawford, 29, pleaded no contest last fall to damaging religious property. Prosecutors said at the time they wouldn't recommend prison, and a federal judge in Eugene, Oregon, followed that request Wednesday.
In a sentencing memo filed last week, Assistant U.S. Attorney William "Bud" Fitzgerald cited Crawford's serious mental health problems and the desire of mosque leaders to move on from an incident that happened more than five years ago. He wrote that the leaders offered forgiveness.
Crawford has been in the state mental hospital for the past 20 months after being found guilty except for insanity in a different case — a charge of unlawful use of a weapon out of Polk County.
The fire that burned an office at the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis was set Nov. 28, 2010, less than 48 hours after Mohamed Mohamud was arrested in an FBI sting operation in Portland.
Crawford lived near the mosque and recognized Mohamud as someone who worshipped there.
At the mosque, court documents said, the damage was caused by a flammable liquid. Investigators said they found a soda bottle, cap and flashlight that tested positive for Crawford's DNA.
Several weeks after the fire, in unrelated encounters with police, Crawford ranted about Muslims and said Christians are capable of jihad, according to court documents.
Mohamud, who visited the mosque while attending Oregon State University, was sentenced to 30 years in prison for plotting to bomb downtown Portland during the annual lighting of a Christmas tree. The truck bomb was a fake given to him by undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists.