United States Attorney Erica H. MacDonald today announced a federal criminal complaint against MOHAMED HUSSEIN ABDI, 19, charging him with arson. ABDI, who was arrested on June, 29, 2020, made his initial appearance earlier today before Magistrate Judge Hildy Bowbeer in U.S. District Court in St. Paul, Minnesota.
According to the allegations in the complaint, on May 28, 2020, the Gordon Parks High School in St. Paul, Minnesota, suffered damage due to fire and vandalism. Surveillance cameras inside the school captured footage of ABDI and another individual intentionally setting a fire in the cafeteria. The footage shows ABDI reaching through a broken glass door and pouring a clear liquid from a white container on the floor of the cafeteria. ABDI then entered the cafeteria and poured more clear liquid onto the floor and into a trashcan. ABDI ignited a fire in the trashcan using a liquid-soaked garment. The footage shows ABDI running from the building as flames and black smoke erupt from the trashcan.
The ATF and FBI urge the public to report suspected arson, use of explosive devices, or violent, destructive acts associated with the recent unrest. Anyone with information specifically related to business fires in the Twin Cities can call 1-888-ATF-TIPS (1-888-283-8477), email ATFTips@atf.gov or submit information anonymously via ReportIt.com. In addition to fires, the FBI is looking for people who may have incited or promoted violence of any kind. Anyone with digital material or tips can call 1-800-CALLFBI (800-225-5324) or submit images or videos at FBI.gov/violence.
This case is the result of an investigation conducted jointly by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), the FBI, the St. Paul Police Department, and the Minnesota State Fire Marshal Division.
This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Melinda A. Williams and Emily A. Polachek.
The charges contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
MOHAMED HUSSEIN ABDI, 19
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United States Attorney’s Office, District of Minnesota: (612) 664-5600