Inside job or from competing mosques?
Police suspect arsonists were behind mosque fire
Published: 28 Aug 2014 10:27 GMT+02:00
Police had believed that the fire at the Mevlana mosque in Kreuzberg might have been caused by a technical fault or started accidentally, but both of those possibilities have now been ruled out.
“We never ruled out arson,” Berlin police spokesman Thomas Neuendorf told The Local. “There was no direct evidence of an arson attack, no traces of a break-in… but by a process of elimination it turned out that it was probably a deliberately started fire.”
Germany’s vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel was already speaking of an “attack” in the days before the police announcement on a visit to the mosque, describing arson on a place of worship as “an attack on the centre of society”.
The fire began in building materials stored in an unfinished extension to the structure and caused smoke damage to the facade and the interior of the mosque. Renovation and extension work has been going on at the site since 2013.