A 19-year-old Minnesota woman has been charged with attempting to provide material support to al-Qaeda, committing arson out of anger because of U.S. military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan, and lying to the FBI about urging fellow St. Catherine University (SCU) students to “join the jihad” against the United States, the Department of Justice (DOJ) has announced.
Tnuza Jamal Hassan, a former SCU student, “told the police and fire investigators ‘You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that,’” reported Fox News, citing the criminal complaint.
She is accused of authoring and delivering a letter to two students encouraging them to “join the jihad in fighting” and to “[j]oin Al Qaeda, [and its affiliates the] Taliban, or Al Shabaab.”
“Hassan knowingly made a false statement to FBI Agents when she stated (1) she did not write the letter, (2) she did not know who wrote the letter, and (3) did not know how the letter came to be delivered to her fellow students,” noted the DOJ in a press release.
Court documents reportedly reveal that Hassan started several fires on the SCU campus on January 17, 2018, prompting authorities to charge her with arson.
Fox News learned that Hassan admitted to sparking the fires.
According to the criminal complaint, prosecutors indicated the arson stemmed from Hassan “reading about the U.S. military destroying schools in Iraq or Afghanistan and she felt that she should do exactly the same thing.”
“Hassan said she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people,” added the court documents. “Hassan said this was that same thing that happened in ‘Muslim land’ and nobody cares if they get hurt, so why not do this?”
“She said that her fire-starting was not as successful as she wanted,” further stated the complaint.
The defendant did not injure anyone during the arson incident.
“Details about Hassan’s terrorism charge are unclear, but a federal indictment said she attempted to provide support to al Qaeda in September by trying to provide ‘personnel,’” pointed out Fox News.
Authorities are holding Hassan at the St. Paul’s Ramsey County Jail.
“This case is the result of an investigation conducted by the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force, St. Paul Police Department, and arson investigators from the St. Paul Fire Department,” reported DOJ.