You'll notice the difference between John Nolte's headline on Twitter, and the one used by by the Houston Chronicle:"Man charged with setting Houston mosque fire was a devout attendee". [Man charged with setting Houston mosque fire was a devout attendee, By Carol Christian and Leah Binkowitz, December 30, 2015]This avoids the use of the word Muslim twice. The suspect, above, is a black American Muslim. He is also described by the Chronicle as a "Houston man".
A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day.In the document, police referred to him as a "bald-headed, dark-skinned male", because that's what the surveillance cameras showed. However, other news sources headline him as "Suspect Arrested" [NBC] and "Worshipper Arrested"[Houston Public Media] and "Man Charged." (Everybody else.)
A spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives confirmed that the man was arrested early Wednesday, sometime after midnight, and appeared in court 7 a.m. Wednesday.
According to a charging instrument released by the Harris County District Clerk, Moore told investigators at the scene that he has attended the mosque for five years, coming five times per day to pray seven days per week.
Moore told investigators he had been at the mosque earlier on Dec. 25 to pray, and had left at about 2 p.m. to go home. Moore told investigators he was the last person to leave the mosque and saw no smoke or other signs of fire when he left. He had returned to the scene after hearing about the fire from a friend.
Though the suspect said he was a regular at the mosque, MJ Khan, president of the Islamic Society of Greater Houston, which operates the mosque, said he was unfamiliar with Moore. "We are just looking into it ourselves," he said Wednesday morning after learning of the arrest.
"We are really very surprised and saddened by this whole thing," said Khan.
Using surveillance video from multiple businesses nearby, investigators were able to identify Moore, according to records. A search warrant of his home was conducted, in which investigators recovered a backpack and clothing that seemingly matched that which was seen in surveillance footage, as well as one half of a two-pack of charcoal lighter fluid bottles that seemed to match another lighter fluid bottle found inside the mosque.