Of­fi­cials: Would-be car ar­son­ist was torcher of mosque

Man hated Mus­lims, feared ter­ror­ism, in­for­mant tells feds.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE -

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.

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