The FBI has arrested a 37-year-old school bus driver suspected of vandalizing a central California mosque and firebombing a Planned Parenthood clinic last year, authorities said.
Donny Eugene Mower, of Madera, was to be arraigned Thursday on two federal arson charges in the Sept. 2 attack on the Madera Planned Parenthood, local and federal officials said.
The clinic was damaged and had to remain shut for two days after someone threw an explosive device through a window. A sign left outside read, “Murder Our Children? We have a ‘choice’ too. Let’s see if you can burn just as well as your victims,” according to a criminal complaint the FBI filed this week in support of criminal charges.
During the previous two weeks, a brick was thrown at the front of the Madera Islamic Center and several cardboard signs with the message “Wake up America, the enemy is here” were left outside the mosque, the complaint stated.
A United Methodist Church also had paper notes taped to its windows in September with the message, “Homosexual pastors? Is this a Christ honoring church or are you awakening the spirit of Sodom and Gommorah?”
The signs at the clinic, mosque and church all were signed with the initials “ANB,” and some at the mosque read, “American Nationalist Brotherhood.” The Madera County Sheriff’s Department recovered a fingerprint from one of the placards and linked it to Mower.
FBI Agent Robert Schofield said in a declaration accompanying the complaint that Mower admitted throwing a beer bottle with a cloth soaked in diesel fuel at the Planned Parenthood clinic and creating all the signs labeled “ANB.”
The charges against Mower stemming from the clinic fire come under a federal law prohibiting arson of buildings used in interstate commerce. The other prohibits damage to facilities providing reproductive health services.
Federal and local authorities began investigating the mosque incidents as potential hate crimes in August, during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and amid a national furor over a proposed mosque near ground zero in New York City.