Officials: Would-be car arsonist was torcher of mosque
Man hated Muslims, feared terrorism, informant tells feds.
A man suspected of burning down a Texas mosque believed its worshippers were terrorists, authorities alleged during a hearing pertaining to an unrelated case against the man.
Marq Vincent Perez, 25, hasn’t been charged in the Jan. 28 fire that destroyed the Islamic center in his hometown of Victoria.
Perez was arrested last week on a charge alleging he tried to set fire to an ex-friend’s car in January, and during a hearing Thursday, prosecutors presented evidence that Perez was suspected in the fire and an earlier burglary of the mosque in arguing that he be denied bond.
Rick Miller, a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agent, testified that an informant admitted to taking part with Perez in Jan. 22 and 28 burglaries of the mosque.
The informant implicated Perez as the one who set fire to it.
The informant said Perez “hated” Muslims and suspected that mosque members were involved in terrorist groups, Miller testified.
Haeli Wey appears before Judge David Wahlberg for sentencing on Friday. The former Westlake teacher got 10 years’ probation.