Man arrested after fire at Bellevue mosque

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BELLEVUE, Wash. -- Fire crews responded to a suspicious fire at the Islamic Center of the Eastside in Bellevue early Saturday morning.

On Saturday evening, Bellevue police announced that they arrested Isaac Wayne Wilson, 37, on suspicion of arson and on an outstanding warrant out Seattle.

Bellevue firefighters saw 40-foot flames coming out of the back side of the building. Nobody was hurt. Crews were able to save half of the building.

When police arrived just before 3 am Wilson was near the back of the building. They say he was lying on the ground, uninjured, when they took him into custody. Wilson is believed to be the only suspect.

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Police are working with fire crews to investigate the cause of the fire, but they confirmed it was intentionally set.

Bellevue Police Mark Risen says they don’t Wilson’s motivation but confirmed that this was not an act of terrorism. They were still investigating to determine if it would be considered a hate crime.

The Islamic Center of the Eastside Imam Faizel said Wilson has visited the Mosque in the past for prayer, but in July of last year, he says they got a restraining order against him because he was violent and abusive during a prayer service.

Members of the mosque tell us that the last prayer was at 7:30 Friday night and everyone was out of the building by 8:00.

The first prayer of the day wasn’t supposed to be until 6:45 a.m. Saturday.

“We just heard from a couple of the parents: ‘What would happen if our children were there and this happened in the morning? Is it safe anymore?’” said mosque member Muhamed Bakr.

Members of the mosque say just three days ago, Islamic groups and neighborhood associations met with several eastside police chiefs to talk about their safety. They say Bellevue is a place where hate crimes don’t happen.

They also say they’ve experienced some vandalism in the recent months. Something that hasn’t happened in the last five years.

The Islamic Center of the Eastside is now trying to figure out where they’ll hold prayers until they can rebuild.

Wilson is expected to appear in court on Tuesday.

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