Federal officials said that Crawford set fire to the Salman Alfarisi Islamic Center in Corvallis, Oregon, near his home in the early morning hours of Nov. 28, less than two days after authorities arrested a Somali-American man after an FBI sting operation.
Court documents obtained by the Associated Press show that Crawford ranted against Muslims in his conversations with police and said that Christians were also capable of jihad.
"You look like Obama. You are a Muslim like him," a court document quotes Crawford as telling an officer after he was arrested on Dec. 14 for a charge unrelated to the firebombing. "Jihad goes both ways. Christians can jihad too."
Authorities apparently got on Crawford's trail thanks to DNA on a flashlight found near the mosque on the morning of the firebombing. He lived just a block from the mosque.
Get the day's best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day with DayBreaker. Sign up here, it takes just a few seconds.