Tnuza Jamal Hassan

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Tnuza Jamal Hassan is a 19-year-old former student at St. Catherines University, in St. Paul, Minnesota, who is accused of setting a series of eight fires there, on the morning of January 17, 2018.[1][2][3][4][5] The fires were set over the course of several hours. No one was hurt, but one of the fires was set in a building that included a daycare center, and 33 children were evacuated.[6]

While a student, Hassan had drafted and delivered a letter that is said to have espoused disturbingly radical muslim beliefs.[6][7] The Police say she described how her letter frightened her roommates, who forwarded it to campus security.[8] In February the Federal Bureau of Investigation acknowledged that they had interviewed Hassan about the letter in September, 2017.[9][10]

The FBI stated that Hassan denied any knowledge of the letter, which called for recepients to join Al Qaeda, the Taliban or Al Shabaab.[9][10]

Ramsay County Prosecutor Margaret Galvin described the charges Hassan faced in local courts, the most serious of which was first degree Arson.[7] According to newspaper accounts of the charging documents she said that after viewing the destruction of schools in Iraq and Syria, that she attributed to American military bombardment, she thought she should destroy schools in America.[6][11][12] The charging documents describe Hassan telling interrogators that she had hoped to burn the campus to the ground, and that it was fortunate for the University that she did not know how to build bombs, that she would have used bombs, if she had known how to construct them.

Galvin told reporters that law enforcement officials were looking into whether Hassan had an "international connection".[13]

Ted Vezner, of the St Paul's Pioneer Press, reported trying and failing to get Federal law enforcement officials to go on record as to whether Hassan would face Federal charges.[7] She remains in custody. Bail was set at $100,000.[14] Her next hearing is set for February 28, 2019.[15]

ReBecca Koenig Roloff, the University's President, thanked law enforcement officials, and assured other muslims that the University recognized this was an "isolated incident", that should not trigger caution against other muslims.[16]

On February 7, 2018, Federal Prosecutors laid three charges against Hassan: Material Support for Terrorism; Arson; and lying to Law Enforcement officials.[9][10] Following the indictment the University's administration issued a statement informing the campus community that they had been cooperating with law enforcement officials in their investigation of the letter, but, at their request, they had kept the existence of the letter a secret.[17]


  1. Mara H. Gottfried (2018-01-17). "Former St. Kate’s student arrested after small fires set on campus". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Campus public safety officers worked with the police and fire departments to review security footage and identified a suspect entering various buildings. At about 1:30 p.m., the suspect was found in a lounge in Crandall Hall, a dorm. The woman, identified in a police report as Tnuza Jamal Hassan, was removed from campus at 2:35 p.m. and police arrested her on suspicion of first-degree arson." 
  2. Chao Xiong (2018-01-18). "Former student set fires on St. Catherine campus in retaliation against U.S. military intervention". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "No one was hurt in the incident that began about 11:40 a.m. with the first reported fire, and ended about 2 p.m. with Hassan’s arrest on campus. Ramsey County jail records show that she was arrested at the school’s Jeanne d’Arc Auditorium at 2004 Randolph Av." 
  3. Steve Karnowski (2018-01-19). "Prosecutors: Woman mad at US actions abroad set campus fires". ABC News (Minneapolis). Retrieved 2018-01-22. "A criminal complaint said Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, admitted to investigators that she started the fires on Wednesday, including one in a dormitory that housed a day care center. She's charged with first-degree arson." 
  4. John Gilmore (2018-01-21). "St. Kate’s: Is It Still Terrorism When Local Media Refuse To Use The Word?". Alpha News Minnesota. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Hassan appears to be a serious terrorist. She allegedly told police that “You guys are lucky that I don’t know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”" 
  5. Lukas Mikelionis (2018-01-23). "Woman mad at US actions abroad set campus fires, prosecutors say". Fox News. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Hassan allegedly harbored radical ideas and wrote a letter to her roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate."" 
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 "Child Porn to Pyromania: New Terror Cases in the US". Clarion Project. 2018-01-21. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "No one was hurt in the fires, however one of the fires was set in a building that housed a daycare center. Thirty-three children, eight adults and 10-15 students were evacuated from that building." 
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Ted Vezner (2018-01-19). "‘You guys are lucky I don’t know how to build a bomb,’ Minn. arson suspect allegedly said". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigations’ Minneapolis office said he could not comment on whether federal authorities also were investigating the incident. A call to the United States District of Attorney’s Minnesota Office to inquire about whether Hassan might face federal charges was not returned." 
  8. Amy Rock (2018-01-22). "Former St. Kate’s Student Sets Campus Fires in Protest of U.S. Military: The former St. Kate’s student said she had been reading about the U.S. military destroying schools in the Middle East and wanted to do the same here". Campus Safety Magazine. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Hassan wrote a letter to her roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate.” The roommates handed the letter over to campus security." 
  9. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named Kstp2018-02-07
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Mukhtar M. Ibrahim (2018-02-07). "19-year-old charged with arson, attempting to provide support to al-Qaida". Minnesota Public Radio. Retrieved 2018-02-13. "In September last year, FBI agents had interviewed Hassan about whether she authored and delivered a letter to two fellow students at St. Catherine in March 2017. Prosecutors allege the letter sought to encourage fellow students to "join the jihad in fighting" and to "[j]oin Al Qaeda, Taliban, or Al Shabaab."" 
  11. Tad Vezner, Sarah Horner (2018-01-19). "‘You guys are lucky I don’t know how to build a bomb,’ St. Kate’s arson suspect allegedly said". Twin Cities Pioneer Press. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "A former St. Catherine University student charged with setting fires on the college’s St. Paul campus told police she did it because she’d “been reading about the U.S. military destroying schools in Iraq or Afghanistan and she felt that she should do exactly the same thing,” according to a criminal complaint filed Friday." 
  12. "‘Muslim land’ retaliation fires set at Catholic university: ‘I don’t know how to build a bomb’". Washington Times. 2018-01-22. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "The complaint against Ms. Hassan states that she was motivated after reading stories of attacks on “Muslim land.”" 
  13. Nikita Vladimirov (2018-01-22). "Former student turns arsonist over US policy in ‘Muslim land’". Campus Reform. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "According to The Star Tribune, 19 year-old Tnuza Hassan allegedly set eight fires in seven buildings on campus last week, later telling authorities that her intention was to “burn [the school] to the ground” and to “hurt people.”" 
  14. Steve Karnowski (2018-01-22). "Prosecutors: Woman mad at US actions abroad set campus fires". Post Bulletin (Minneapolis). Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Hassan was held Friday night in the Ramsey County Jail on $100,000 bail." 
  15. Ted Vezner, Sarah Horner (2018-01-19). "Former St. Paul college student charged with setting fires on campus". Duluth News Tribune. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "Hassan has no prior criminal record in Minnesota.She remained in custody Friday at the Ramsey County Jail, with bail set at $100,000. Her next court hearing is Feb. 28. She has not yet entered a plea." 
  16. ReBecca Koenig Roloff (2018-01-19). "Statement from the president". St Katherine University. Retrieved 2018-01-22. "We believe this was an isolated incident and are cooperating with law enforcement officials. Our top concern is our students and the campus community. We are proud to be an open and welcoming University that embraces diversity. As such, we strongly believe that one person does not represent an entire group, and we deeply value all Muslim members of our community." 
  17. "Arson Incident Update" (in English). St Katherine University. 2008-02-07. Retrieved 2018-02-13.