Watch CBSN Live

Man arrested in Oregon mosque firebombing

Man arrested in Corvallis mosque firebombing
Cody Crawford Washington County Sheriff's Office

(CBS/AP) EUGENE, Ore. - Police have arrested 24-year-old Cody Crawford on charges of firebombing an Oregon mosque last year. They said he was motivated by racial hatred following the arrest of a Muslim man accused of plotting to set off a car bomb in Portland.

The suspect, who has been under investigation since the Corvallis mosque was torched Nov. 28, was arrested Wednesday night at a home in the nearby town Monmouth. Officials said he did not resist arrest.

He was indicted on charges of damaging religious property for racial reasons, which is a hate crime, and using fire to commit a felony.

"This was an attack on religious freedom and an attack on the American way of life," said Dwight Holton, U.S. attorney for Oregon.

The mosque firebombing occurred just two days after FBI agents arrested a Somali-American, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, in a sting operation at Portland's annual Christmas tree lighting ceremony. Mohamud was charged with plotting to kill people at the ceremony by igniting a car bomb.

Mohamud had occasionally worshipped at the Corvallis mosque.

The mosque's office burned, but nobody was hurt.

Crawford appeared briefly in court Thursday. He did not enter a plea and was ordered held in jail while legal proceedings go forward.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Bud Fitzgerald said Crawford has bipolar disorder and is an alcoholic - and would be a flight risk if released.