A Houston man has been arrested in connection with a suspected arson at a mosque on Christmas Day.
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.
The suspect, Gary Nathaniel Moore, 37, of Houston, appeared in court at 7 a.m., spokeswoman Nicole Strong said.
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.
Bond for Moore has been set at $100,000.
It took about 80 firefighters to put out the two-alarm blaze at the storefront mosque in Savoy Plaza, near Wilcrest Drive and West Bellfort.
All I want for Christmas is Jeb Bush to not drop out of the race.
It’s been so much fun watching the spoiled little rich kid stumbling around the country, gut shot, spending record sums of money to drop further and further behind in every poll in every state, whining about this or that and all the “really cool things” he could be doing if he just didn’t have to run for president.
Juan Ellis Bush makes everybody feel good about themselves. If your last name is Hearst and you own Ch. 9 in Manchester – how much has he squandered so far on your TV station, $10 million, $12 million? And the primary is still almost seven weeks away!
For every million bucks the Bush super PAC spends, he drops another 1 percent in the polls. It’s like clockwork. Juan’s political action committee is called “Right to Rise.” It should be renamed, “Free to Fall.”
But TV stations aren’t the only businesses padding their bottom lines with Richie Rich’s billionaire bucks. If you own a restaurant in New Hampshire – the Bush people tell you they’ll need a buffet for 200 people, but you know you only have to lay out food for 20, or maybe only 5 if Donald Trump is anywhere within two counties.
If you’re feeling sorry for yourself, just watch one of Jeb’s 30-second spots. He’s got the support of “27 admirals and generals.” Wow! Now he’s walking the factory floor wearing his white coat, barking out orders and looking important – who hasn’t run into Daddy’s Little Boy pretending to be a big shot, yelling at the hired hands?
And now this Daddy’s Little Boy is getting his comeuppance.
One of last month’s campaign slogans was “Jeb Can Fix It.” Remember that one? It lasted about a week. Fix it? Fix what exactly? Apparently that was another old saying Juan Ellis Bush forgot: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Plus, should anyone named Bush ever use the word “fix?” Do you really want to remind everyone of the perception that the Bush family once “fixed” an election, in Florida?
Now he calls Donald Trump a “jerk.” Huh? Again, he’s breaking more basic rules of politics – first, never mention your opponent by name unless he attacks you. And second, never get into a you-know-what match with a skunk, because it doesn’t matter who started it, the only thing the viewers at home will remember is two you-know-whats yelling at each other.
Then there was the time he said you have to lose the primaries to win the general election. It made no sense. So now he says he “hated” being the front-runner.
“I feel so much better back here,” Bush said, from way back in fifth, or sixth, or seventh place, depending on which state you’re talking about.
Last weekend, Juan vowed to stay in the fight to New Hampshire and beyond.
“I want to show who I am,” he said on CBS.
Don’t worry, Juan, you already have. But remember, you have to lose the primaries first. And we’ll be there for you. We share your ambition. We want you to lose.