Terrorism Charges Possible in Seattle New Years Eve Gay Bar Arson


Musab Mohammed Masmari — the 30-year-old suspect arrested for New Year’s Eve arson at Seattle's Neighbours gay nightclub — has pleaded guilty. His plea agreement could get him anywhere from five to 20 years in prison.

The Seattle Times provides more details about how Musmari committed his crime:

Police say that Masmari avoided a security check at Neighbours by entering an adjacent bar called Therapy Lounge. He then passed through an interior door between the bars into the two-floor dance club and was seen on surveillance footage walking around with an object that appeared large enough to contain a 1-gallon gas can, according to the state charging documents.

Masmari allegedly fled the club within seconds of flames first appearing on the footage, the papers say. Club patrons and a bartender quickly doused the blaze with a fire extinguisher.

There were more than 750 people inside the club that night, authorities said.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg — supervisor the Joint Terrorism Task Force handled the case— suggesting that hate-crime and terrorism may be mentioned as part of his motives during his sentencing hearing on July 31.

Dominic Holden, the openly gay reporter for The Stranger, provided a timeline of the investigation leading to Masmari’s arrest. Police identified Masmari carrying a large container of gasoline from nightclub footage. He was at Sea-Tac airport trying to escape to Turkey with his worldly possessions when police apprehended him.


  1. Mark says

    I hope he gets a long sentence and then deportation with no possibility of re-entry.

  2. Bryan says

    “Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd Greenberg — supervisor the Joint Terrorism Task Force handled the case— suggesting that hate-crime and terrorism may be mentioned as part of his motives during his sentencing hearing on July 31.”

    In the meantime, terrorist acts committed by Towleroad against the English language will continue unabated.

  3. monty says

    Bryan–why do you have to be such a jerk? It’s a Saturday–as if you haven’t ever made a typo in your life?

  4. melvin says

    By all means, Justin. While we’re at it, shall we deport Muhammad Ali, Aasif Mandvi, Fareed Zakaria, and congressman Keith Ellison, now serving his fourth term?

  5. AllMyGold says

    Are we sure Musab Mohammed Masmari won’t be given an award instead? Maybe for Abrahamic Excellence, or Most Creative Use of Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association, and Freedom of Religion? Maybe he could get accolades if he calls what he did Judeo-Christian Performance Art? Or maybe somebody should just tell him to shout “Won’t somebody please think of the children?!, and then he could get called a Wholesome Moral Family Warrior or something. Did his defense lawyers say that he’s not anti-gay, he’s just pro heterosexual supremacy?

  6. Justin says

    What an obtuse comment, Melvin. Sure we already have some Muslim citizens, but that doesn’t mean we should keep letting Muslim foreigners come here in droves. The immigration and visas need to stop or we’ll soon end up like Western Europe, with large populations of Muslims who come here for the wealth our society creates but who disdain our culture, refuse to assimilate, and make demands that we accommodate them, rather than vice versa. Islam is a repressive totalitarian ideology that is incompatible with Western individualism.

  7. AllMyGold says

    Justin. I hear that. I remember hearing about how Muslims tried to have Sharia law supplant Canadian federal law.

    I also remember reading about how North-West European countries that were once friendly towards gays have changed, because of droves of hostile, anti-gay muslims moving there and turning their new-found freedoms against gays.

  8. atomic says

    @Justin: The only difference between Muslim bigots and Christian bigots is that the Christian ones are already here. They’re just as vicious, backwards, and hateful. Stopping Muslims from entering the US isn’t going to do anything about the homegrown idiots.

    To be honest, attempted murder against 750 people through arson is more than worthy of a death sentence, and I do not say that lightly. It makes no difference that he pleaded guilty, or that no one died. He planned this attack, planned to escape, and the fact is that after he finishes serving whatever sentence he gets, people like him will always try again. Their minds are filled with so much hate there is no way to fix them except to execute them and hold them up as an example.

  9. AllMyGold says

    Atomic. “Stopping Muslims from entering the US isn’t going to do anything about the homegrown idiots.”
    Have you ever seen photos of angry christians and muslims sitting together for a photograph, united in hatred and anti-gay activism? I have.
    If I have poison 1 in my system already, and there’s nothing I can do about it, but there is less poison 2 in my system and I can do something to stop more poison 2 from entering my system, it is in my best interest to do so.
    It’s better to have less poison in your system than more, and not say, ‘Hey, I’m already polluted with poison 1 and a little of poison 2, why not just drink a bunch more poison 2 because it won’t do anything about poison 1.’ As mentioned above, taking on more poison 2 can amplify and increase the magnitude of poison 1.

    It’s better to have less enemies, than more, no?

  10. Justin says

    Atomic, no one could say that the world has a problem with Christian terrorism or Jewish terrorism or Buddhist terrorism the way we do with Islamic terrorism. It would be absurd to say such a thing. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but most terrorists are Muslims. That’s just a fact.

  11. atomic says

    @allmygold: I did not mean to imply that it’s somehow okay to let these idiots enter the country. The issue is that it’s impossible to figure out who should be allowed in or not: there are non-bigoted Muslims just as there are non-bigoted Christians. This arsonist was actually born in the US, even though his family is from Libya. I’m with you on the idea of preventing toxic cultures and religions from being introduced into the US, but *how* do you do it? You can’t just say ALL Muslims are prevented from entering: first of all, how do you identify who is a Muslim, and second, even if you could, it would probably incite more anti-American hatred and bigotry among those who are already here. Kick them out? Well, that’s not realistic, is it? Might as well ask to kick out the Phelps clan and all the Southern Baptists. While we’re at it, why not suggest we just euthanize everyone who has ever made a homophobic remark?

  12. AllMyGold says

    Atomic. Screening could be more thorough, to screen out the bigots, the supplanters, the extremists, the hatemongers. It could be made more difficult to enter the country, and increase the requirements. I’m thinking extensive personality and psychological tests. Tests that screen for religious extremism, religious literalism, etc. Tests to see how much one ascribes to the ethical equivalent of Leviticus teachings let’s say. Tests to see how much a candidate would respect the laws and culture that they are trying to enter. If they fail, they don’t go to the next step.
    I’m thinking exams afterward that continue to test their ability to respect laws and the social contract. If they fail, they don’t move on to the next step.
    Then I’m thinking contracts, that stipulate if they or their offspring fail to abide by contractual stipulation, they get kicked out.
    I’m thinking LOTS of red tape, that would make it much harder for religious lunatics to come and take over.

    And yes, let’s euthanize all homophobes; each and every one :-/

  13. atomic says

    @allmygold: The US government can’t even stop people from crossing a border fence…what you propose simply is not realistic. I don’t disagree with the principle or sentiment, but if you’re serious, then you’d have to look up the legal, logistic, and economic issues that are involved.

  14. AllMyGold says

    Atomic. *sigh* Yes I am serious, except for that last part about euthanasia (the ideation is cathartic in a way though). And you’re probably right. It’s not very realistic. But not impossible.

    Canada as far as I know, has been considered relatively high on the ‘welcoming of immigrants’ scale over time, but that has been changing. I saw a documentary talking about how it is gradually becoming more difficult for immigrants and refugees to get into that country. This is because, according to what I saw, people abused the welcoming system. Remember I mentioned earlier about Muslims trying to implement Sharia law in Canada?

    America, despite the cultural, economic, political etc issues it has, can make it harder for immigrants too. S***ty border or not :-)

  15. UFFDA says

    Muslims as a community are by far the most repulsive and repressive carcinoma in the world. Denmark has learned a lot about limiting their numbers and power, Denmark, the most idiotically liberal country in the world has learned its lesson. Check it out, the most embarrassing political blunder in its history has been reversed as a matter of self preservation. In a saner future minarets throughout the world will be imploded.

  16. Randy says

    Not everything done by an apparent Muslim has to be terrorism.

    This is simply a hate crime, arson, and attempted mass murder.

    Isn’t that enough?

  17. KingQueen says

    lol Randy… “This is simply a hate crime, arson, and attempted mass murder.”
    Let my try to digest this.
    “This is SIMPLY…”
    Oh, it’s just SIMPLY attempted mass murder. That’s all. Nothing even worth raising an eyebrow over.
    Just another run-of-the-mill attempted mass murder. YAWN
    Somebody pass the pop-corn and put something good on, eh Randy?
    Nothing to see here. Why am I even satirizing Randy anyway? This article is only about the attempted mass murder of gays in Seattle. That doesn’t constitute terrorism, right? That’s a no-no word for gays, just like ‘homophobia’. Because acts of terrorism don’t count when it’s against gays. Thank you Randy for teaching me that; you’re so brilliant and inspired. Your discourse is so well-reasoned and strong.

    Acts of terrorism don’t count against gays, and attempted mass murder against gays is just unimportant snooze material.