Woman mad at US actions abroad set campus fires, prosecutors say

A woman allegedly angry with U.S. military actions abroad was charged Friday with setting several fires at a Minnesota university.

Tnuza Jamal Hassan, 19, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, allegedly confessed to investigators that she started multiple fires on campus last week, including one in a dormitory housing a day care center.

She was charged with first-degree arson and was held Friday night in the Ramsey County Jail on $100,000 bail.

"Hassan stated she started the fires because she's been reading about the US military destroying schools in Iraq or Afghanistan and she felt that she should do exactly the same thing," a criminal complaint said. "She said that her fire-starting was not as successful as she wanted."

Nobody was injured due to the fires and most damage was limited to the university’s equipment, according to the school. A sprinkler system at the day care center, where 33 children and eight adults were present, prevented the spread of the fire.

Hassan allegedly harbored radical ideas and wrote a letter to her roommates containing “radical ideas about supporting Muslims and bringing back the caliphate."

The complaint claims the woman told the police and fire investigators that “You guys are lucky that I don't know how to build a bomb because I would have done that.”

"Hassan said she wanted the school to burn to the ground and that her intent was to hurt people," the complaint added. "Hassan said this was that same thing that happened in 'Muslim land' and nobody cares if they get hurt, so why not do this?"

The university said the woman was enrolled at the university in the fall 2017 semester but eventually dropped out because she and her family were planning a vacation in Ethiopia.

The authorities did not disclose Hassan’s nationality, citing privacy laws.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.