The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

August 16, 2012

Federal investigation doesn’t yield cause of Joplin mosque fire

FBI continuing overall probe

Federal authorities haven’t determined the cause of the Aug. 6 fire that destroyed the Islamic Society of Joplin’s mosque.

“We are still actively investigating,” FBI spokeswoman Bridget Patton said Thursday by phone.

A news release from the FBI notes that investigators with the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives conducted several days of extensive examination at the site, involving reconstructing the scene and sifting through the debris.

The ATF dispatched a certified fire inspector, a highly trained special agent, to provide technical support and analysis.

A dog also was used by investigators at the scene on the day of the fire.

Authorities also have conducted many interviews.

Authorities still consider the fire to be suspicious, based on the news release.

“At this time, the official cause of the fire is ‘undetermined,’” reads the news release. “A finding of undetermined does not mean that a fire investigation is closed. If additional information is developed, this finding can be changed. Investigators are actively following all leads and request the public to report any information about the fire.”

The news release states that the factors leading to the determination aren’t being released.

Some Joplin Muslims said they weren’t discouraged about the news.

“As far as I’m concerned, I have full faith in law enforcement,” Ayesha Ahmed said. “It’s going to take some time. We just need to wait and see what comes out of it.”

Member and mosque spokeswoman Kimberly Kester also said the members of the mosque have full faith in the FBI and other investigators. She said she did feel some personal frustration.

“We would like to get this investigation complete so we can put it behind us and really focus on rebuilding,” she said.

The FBI also released enhanced images from a surveillance video showing the person who started a fire at the mosque on July 4 that caused minor damage to the roof.

“Law enforcement firmly believes these enhanced photographs can assist in the identification of this suspect,” reads the news release.

The news release states that authorities haven’t determined if the July 4 and Aug. 6 incidents are related.

The FBI won’t say if any surveillance video exists from the Aug. 6 fire, but if any survived the fire, it hasn’t been made public.

The FBI and ATF are offering a $15,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those involved in the July 4 fire. The Council on American-Islamic Relations has added a $10,000 reward for the arrest of those involved in either incident.



Website

THE SURVEILLANCE VIDEO, press releases and enhanced images are available on the website of the Kansas City division of the FBI at fbi.gov/kansascity

1
Text Only
Local News
  • ArtFest.jpg Giant footballs arrive in Pittsburg; organizers seeking more underwriters, artists for event

    Twenty-four giant fiberglass footballs arrived in Pittsburg on Wednesday to officially kick off SEK Art Fest’s second annual public art event.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • City of Neosho reinstates school officer

    The city of Neosho has restored its contract with the Neosho School District to provide a police officer for security in schools.

    April 16, 2014

  • Mike Pound: Host families build relationships with Joplin Outlaws

    When Missy and Wade Short agreed to serve as a host family for a member of the Joplin Outlaws, they knew they were helping a college baseball player. But what they didn’t know is that they would also find another role model for their son.

    April 16, 2014

  • City of Miami to stage trash, cleanup events

    The city of Miami plans two trash and cleanup events over the next month in an effort to beautify the city and to assist residents with trash removal. This Saturday will see the return of the annual spring “Trash-Off the Streets of Miami.”

    April 16, 2014

  • Commission awards contract for bridge replacement project

    Construction will start in about a month on a new bridge on County Road 48 in the northeast part of Jasper County. The Jasper County Commission this week approved a contract for the project on Deer Creek, south of Baseline Road.

    April 16, 2014

  • More volunteers, donations sought for ‘Victory 4 Haiti’

    The second meals-for-Haiti project, scheduled for April 26, is in need of donations and volunteers, organizers say. “Victory 4 Haiti,” a food-packaging event that will provide meals to the Haitian Christian Mission in the village of Fond-Parisien and elsewhere in Haiti, needs $60,000 to pay for about 280,000 meals.

    April 16, 2014

  • TIF proposal filed for development of area at 44th Street and Range Line

    Joplin’s Tax Increment Financing Commission will hold an informational meeting today on a proposal to establish a TIF district to pay for a wetlands project on property in the area of 44th Street and Range Line, where a developer wants to build a retail, office and hospitality district.

    April 16, 2014

  • 041614 MDOT5_72.jpg JATSO recommends 15 road projects for planning

    The reconstruction of the Highway 171/Interstate 49 interchange at Carthage and the construction of a limited-access highway on the west side of Joplin and Carl Junction are among the top highway projects to be identified by the Joplin Area Transportation Study Organization.
     

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Joplin city attorney takes job in Lee’s Summit

    City Attorney Brian Head will leave his Joplin post next month for a job in Lee’s Summit in suburban Kansas City. Head submitted a letter of resignation Wednesday morning to Mayor Mike Seibert and the City Council. The council is his employer.

    April 16, 2014

  • Neosho restores school resource officer to schools

    Neosho Police Chief David McCracken told the city council on Tuesday that he was restoring the city contract to provide a police officer in schools.

    April 16, 2014

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

The Supreme Court may take up a challenge to an Ohio law that bars false statements about political candidates during a campaign. Do you think false accusations made in the heat of an election should be punished as a crime?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter