19-year-old charged with arson, attempting to provide support to al-Qaida

Tnuza Jamal Hassan
This photo provided by the Ramsey County Sheriff's Office shows Tnuza Jamal Hassan. A criminal complaint said Hassan, 19, a former student at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, admitted to investigators that she started the fires on Wednesday, Jan. 17, 2018, including one in a dormitory that housed a day care center. She's charged with first-degree arson.
Ramsey County Sheriff's Office via AP

Federal authorities on Wednesday charged a 19-year-old former St. Catherine University student with attempting to provide material support to al-Qaida, arson and making a false statement to the FBI.

Tnuza Hassan, who allegedly started several fires at some buildings at the university on Jan. 17, was questioned by the FBI several months before the alleged arson.

In September last year, FBI agents had interviewed Hassan about whether she authored and delivered a letter to two fellow students at St. Catherine in March 2017. Prosecutors allege the letter sought to encourage fellow students to "join the jihad in fighting" and to "[j]oin Al Qaeda, Taliban, or Al Shabaab."

Prosecutors say Hassan had lied to the FBI agents about who wrote the letter or who delivered it to the students.

Hassan was previously charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count of first-degree arson and is currently in custody at the Ramsey County Jail.

Before you go...

MPR News is dedicated to bringing you clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives when we need it most. We rely on your help to do this. Your donation has the power to keep MPR News strong and accessible to all during this crisis and beyond.