April 8th, 2011 By | News | Posted In: Cops and Courts

"You Look Like Obama": FBI Seeks Facebook Records for Person of Interest in Mosque Arson

crawford

The FBI wants Facebook to hand over its records on Cody S. Crawford, the Corvallis man previously identified as a person of interest in an arson attack on an Islamic center and mosque.

A search warrant affidavit (PDF) filed last month in U.S. District Court in Portland describes several bizarre outbursts by Crawford in arrests made since the firebombing last fall. In one encounter, Crawford allegedly told an officer: "You look like Obama. You are Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too."

The Nov. 28 attack on the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis came two days after federal agents arrested Mohamed Osman Mohamud on allegations of attempting to blow up thousands of people in a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony in Portland.

The media reported that Mohamud occasionally attended services in the mosque at the Corvallis Islamic center. The fire—believed caused by a bottle filled with fuel and hurled through a window—caused no injuries but charred the walls of the Islamic center's office.

The search warrant affidavit notes the mosque is visible from Crawford's house in Corvallis. The affidavit recounts encounters police had with Crawford while canvassing the neighborhood after the bombing. Crawford claimed a flashlight found at the crime scene had been stolen from his porch the night of the fire.

The affidavit filed March 14 says the FBI laboratory in Quantico, Va., has since matched Crawford's DNA to samples taken from the flashlight. The affidavit also says investigators found wicks and charred bottles in Crawford's garage.

The affidavit notes that Crawford appears to have shut down his Facebook profile shortly after police first questioned him. Nonetheless, the FBI managed to track down several recent posts from Crawford's profile, including: "that guy on the news used to go to the mosque that is right in frnt [sic] of my house!" 

Also on his Facebook page, Crawford allegedly wrote: "and realize what life is about!!! This guy on the news was a really bad guy!!! He went to the mosque right in front of my house here in corvali [sic], i even remember when he walked by my house one time, with two guys that looked like cops, i see them there every week."

The affidavit seeks access to Facebook's so-called "Neoprint" for Crawford—described as an "expanded view" of Crawford's profile showing all information and activity related to his account—every like, every poke, every gift. The affidavit says the Neoprint is stored at Facebook headquarters in Palo Alto, Calif.

As first reported in WW, Crawford had several previous bizarre run-ins with the law. Such encounters continued after Crawford was named a person of interest in the mosque arson.

According to the affidavit, McMinnville police arrested Crawford on Dec. 14 for harassment and disorderly conduct after Crawford allegedly shined a flashlight into security cameras and threatened people at a gas station while talking about terrorists and Muslims.

The affidavit says Crawford told the arresting officer his wife is Muslim, threatened to cut off his son's penis, and tearfully insisted in jail, "I didn't burn that mosque." He also allegedly told an officer: "You look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him. Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too."

On Dec. 16, the affidavit says, Crawford was arrested again—this time by Corvallis police, responding to a report of Crawford waving a knife in his front yard. "I don't give a fuck what happens to people like you," Crawford allegedly told one cop. When asked what type of person he was referring to, Crawford responded "Secret Muslims," according to the affidavit.

Crawford was civilly committed for evaluation at the Benton County Mental Health Division, the affidavit says.



 
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