Suspect arrested in fires at three black churches in Louisiana

(Reuters) – Police have arrested a man suspected of setting fire to three predominately black churches in a southern Louisiana parish, a federal prosecutor said on Wednesday.

“A suspect has been identified in connection with three church burnings in Opelousas, Louisiana, and is in state custody,” David Joseph, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana, said in a statement.

The suspect’s name was not released.

The sheriff’s office in St. Landry Parish where the fires occurred declined to comment and referred questions to the fire marshal’s office.

Ashley Rodrigue, spokeswoman for the State Fire Marshal’s Office, said there will be an announcement regarding the case at a press conference on Thursday attended by Governor John Bel Edwards and law enforcement officials.

Authorities said this month they found suspicious “patterns” among fires that burned down three churches between March 26 and April 4 in the parish, about 100 miles (160 km) northwest of New Orleans.

The fires destroyed St. Mary Baptist Church in the community of Port Barre, and Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, the seat of the parish, the Louisiana equivalent to a county.

All the churches have mostly black congregants, raising authorities’ suspicion that the fires could have been racially motivated hate crimes.

(Reporting by Rich McKay, additional reporting by Gabriella Borter; editing by Darren Schuettler)

Report: Homeland Security Ignores Domestic White Terrorism

Many U.S. law enforcement and security officials now believe that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has its priorities wrong. According to these highly-experienced professionals DHS resources are being wasted on the so-called “threat” posed to our southern border by the caravan of poor refugees making its way north through Mexico from Central America.

Instead, these experts believe, more resources should be deployed to fight the growing threat to our country posed by white nationalism and white supremacist groups. It is these groups of U.S. citizens within our own borders who have grown increasingly violent and have started to threaten more and more Americans in different racial and religious groups.

For example, on Tuesday DHS officials had a conference call to discuss the Central American migrants. There was no discussion about the murder of 11 Jews in Pittsburgh on Saturday.

According to reporting by The Daily Beast:

“Some participants were flummoxed: In the face of the most lethal anti-Semitic terror attack in American history, was DHS really focused, exclusively, on migrants?” read more