Federal authorities are investigating suspicious arson at the offices of 3 conservative groups in Minnesota.


MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Federal officials minnesota are investigating a suspicious arson that has caused massive damage to the offices of three conservative groups, who are calling the fire an act of political terrorism.

The fire broke out early Sunday at the offices of the Center for the American Experiment, the Upper Midwest Law Center and TechCharge in the Minneapolis suburb of Golden Valley. Authorities have not announced any arrests or a possible motive. All three offices share the same building with several other businesses.

“The fire was obviously started by someone,” John Hinderaker, president of the Center for the American Experiment, a conservative think tank, said in a statement. “They targeted conservative organizations, they didn’t bomb chiropractors or psychologists or the Manufacturers Alliance. We are cooperating with the FBI in trying to identify the criminals.

Ashley Sherrill, a spokeswoman for the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in St. Paul, which is leading the investigation, told The Associated Press that the case was still under investigation as of Friday and that officials were only able to release. Limited details.

“ATF certified fire investigators responded and are working closely with local and state and federal partners,” Sherrill said. “We are pursuing this investigation as an arson investigation, but there are limited details I can provide at this time.”

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A local FBI spokesperson did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment. Golden Valley Police Chief Virgil Green referred a reporter to ATF.

“To my knowledge there have been no arrests or identification of any suspects,” Green told the AP.

The groups said the fire broke out outside the first-floor offices of the Center for the American Experiment and TakeCharge, a conservative black group that promotes two-parent families and school choice, and the Upper Midwest Law Center. Located in the third floor offices. , a legal advocacy group. He said there was no damage from the fire on the second floor of the building, which also houses several small businesses.

Staff at conservative groups will work remotely while they look for alternative office space. He estimates it will take several months to repair the damage once the investigation is complete.

“It is extremely concerning that we could be the target of an arson attack, which is an act of domestic terrorism,” Kendall Qualls, president of TechCharge, said in a separate statement.

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