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Police and fire

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Muslims to gather for prayer at torched mosque

Linn

TOLEDO, Ohio – Muslims in the Toledo area are planning a show of solidarity today after an arson fire damaged a landmark mosque.

The Islamic Center of Greater Toledo said area Muslims plan to come together for prayer on the grounds of the damaged building 1:30 p.m. Friday. An interfaith prayer service will be held on the grounds at 2 p.m. Sunday.

A northeast Indiana man is suspected of starting the fire at the mosque Sunday.

The Ohio fire marshal's office has said investigators believe Randy Linn of St. Joe is the person recorded by a surveillance camera outside the center.

The fire caused smoke and water damage in a prayer room at the mosque, which sits along Interstate 75 and has a golden dome that's visible for miles.

The extradition of Linn, 52, from Indiana happened right after FBI and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives agents began exploring the possibility he committed federal crimes.

Investigators have pegged Linn – who lives off DeKalb County Road 56 in St. Joe – as the man captured in surveillance videos at the Islamic Center of Greater Toledo before it caught fire.

On Wednesday, Linn was charged in Perrysburg Township Municipal Court with two felony counts of arson, one count of aggravated burglary and one count of carrying a concealed weapon. Indiana State Police troopers, federal agents and other law enforcement officers arrested Linn on Tuesday in the parking lot of Shambaugh & Son, the Fort Wayne construction company where he worked.

The company released a statement Wednesday that read: "Any attempt by anyone to set fire to or otherwise damage a mosque or any other place of worship is reprehensible and is not in keeping with the company's values.

"This is a developing story and we unfortunately don't know any more than we read and hear in the press and media."

Linn was held at the Allen County Jail until Wednesday afternoon. At that time, Ohio authorities came to pick him up and transfer him back to Perrysburg Township once he decided not to fight extradition, according to the Allen County Sheriff's Department.

Since news of his arrest broke, little has been made public about Linn. Court records show he has had a few traffic tickets in Indiana over the past 20 or so years, but those were mainly for speeding or failure to wear a seat belt.

The Journal Gazette contributed to this story.

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