Minneapolis mosque arson suspect was bailed out twice by MN Freedom Fund

Court records also show that Little has a history of mental health civil commitment cases and had been found incompetent to stand trial in a 2021 arson case.

Jackie Rahm Little/Sherburne County Jail

A Plymouth, Minn., man who is suspected in at least two recent Minneapolis mosque arson fires was out of custody on bail previously supplied twice by the Minnesota Freedom Fund in another unrelated arson case.

In addition to the two mosque fires, Jackie Rahm Little, 36, is suspected of vandalizing U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s office in Minneapolis in January as well as a police car driven by a Somali officer the same day, according to a federal court document.

The Minneapolis Police Department shared photos last week asking for the public’s help in identifying the suspect believed to be involved in the arsons.

By Friday, authorities had announced that the suspect had been identified as Little and that he was charged with arson in connection to at least one of the fires, but he was not in custody.

Late Saturday night, Minneapolis Police Chief Brian O’Hara issued a statement saying that Little had been taken into custody through the combined efforts of the Minneapolis Police Department, FBI, ATF and the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

According to a statement released on Sunday by U.S. Attorney Andrew Luger, Little was apprehended and arrested in Mankato by the Blue Earth County Sheriff’s Office and was subsequently taken into federal custody by FBI and ATF agents.

Little, also known as Joel Arthur Tueting, has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with arson.

According to court documents, on April 23, 2023, at approximately 7 p.m., Little started a fire in the bathroom of the Masjid Omar Islamic Center located at 912 East 24th Street.

On April 24, 2023, just before 7 p.m., Little was captured on surveillance video entering the Masjid Al Rahma Mosque at 2647 Bloomington Avenue. Shortly thereafter, a fire broke out on the third floor of the mosque and the building was evacuated.

Fire damage at Masjid Al Rahma Mosque

The federal filing also describes that prior to the arson incidents, on Jan. 5, 2023, Little was captured on surveillance video entering the Minneapolis district office of a U.S. representative. Little spray-painted the text “500” on the front door of the U.S. representative’s office and photographed the graffiti. Later that same day, Little spray-painted the same text (“500”) on the side of a patrol vehicle assigned to a Somali Minneapolis Police Department officer as well as in an entryway at a marketplace, colloquially referred to as the “Somali Mall.”

The filing also details that a photo of the Quran in a toilet was emailed to U.S. Rep. Ilhan Omar’s congressional email address in December 2022. The image showed a male urinating on the Quran. The document states that Little also had a history of “extensively” harassing a Muslim woman when he was previously living in a transitional housing facility. The woman reported that Little had sent her a picture of the Quran in a toilet.

Little made his initial appearance on the new charge in U.S. District Court before Magistrate Judge Elizabeth Cowan Wright on Monday, May 1, 2023.

State court records show Little has another pending felony arson case from 2021 in which he is accused of setting a vehicle on fire in south Minneapolis. Little was bailed out by the Minnesota Freedom Fund following his arrest in that case. Several months later, a warrant was issued for Little’s arrest for failure to comply with conditions of release and he was again arrested.

Again, the Minnesota Freedom Fund posted an additional bail amount for Little’s release in May 2022.

Court records also show that Little has a history of mental health civil commitment cases and had been found incompetent to stand trial in the 2021 arson case as recently as Jan. 11, 2023, the same week as the alleged vandalism incidents at Rep. Omar’s office and on the MPD squad car. It’s unclear why Little wasn’t being held at the time on a civil commitment given his prior mental illness history and the new finding of incompetence.

Little is currently being held in Sherburne County Jail and is expected back in court on Thursday.

Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.

 

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Minnesota Crime Watch & Information publishes news, info and commentary about crime, public safety and livability issues in Minneapolis, the Twin Cities and Greater Minnesota.