Oregon man accused of vandalising mosque, synagogues faces federal charges
A man in Oregon who set fire to a mosque and vandalised two synagogues last year is now facing federal charges.
Michael Bivins, a 35-year-old former freelance journalist from Portland, is accused of setting fire to a Muslim community centre, breaking a window at a synagogue, and spray-painting graffiti on another synagogue. He is also accused of intimidating a Black business owner in Portland by breaking the business's window.
He remains in custody at a jail in Portland and he is scheduled to enter a plea deal in February, according to local news reports.
"Attacks on houses of worship cannot be tolerated and must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. We welcome the federal charges in these disturbing cases and urge law enforcement authorities nationwide to crack down on crimes targeting houses of worship," said Ismail Allison, national communications coordinator for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, in a public statement.
"We stand in solidarity with the Muslim and Jewish communities in Portland against anti-Muslim bigotry, antisemitism and all forms of hate," he said.