Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, is facing a charge of first-degree arson after allegedly lighting a number of fires at a Minnesota university. Prosecutors say this was retaliation for U.S. military actions aboard.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, is believed to have started an arson spree on January 17, 2018. Prosecutors allege that over the course of a few hours, she lit fires in seven different buildings, one of which houses the university’s daycare.
Most of the fires were small and easily contained once discovered. Police and security eventually found Hassan by tracking her movements via surveillance camera footage. She was arrested without incident.
Nobody was injured and damage was mostly limited to the university’s equipment, according to the school.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan’s Suspected Motive
Once in custody, the 19-year-old reportedly confessed to everything. She claimed she had become increasingly bothered by the actions of the United States military, especially in parts of the Muslim world like Iraq.
Hassan had read about the United States destroying schools and killing students abroad, and she decided to do the same thing, according to a criminal complaint.
Hassan allegedly told investigators, “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”
Furthermore, Hassan allegedly once wrote a letter to her school roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate,” according to the criminal complaint. The letter alarmed the roommates and they submitted it to campus security.
Was This a Terrorist Action?
Officials are trying to determine whether there are any connections between Hassan and terrorist groups. But considering how unorganized and ineffective the arson attack was, it may have been the plot of a lone wolf.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan is currently being held on $100,000 bail.