Federal law enforcement agencies are investigating a fire that erupted in a building where three conservative organizations have offices, reports say.
The blaze in Golden Valley, Minnesota, is being treated as a possible arson attack, according to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. The FBI is also involved in the investigation along with other local authorities, according to KSTP-TV.
The building where the flames broke out over the weekend is home to several right-wing organizations claiming to have been targeted for their work.
John Hinderaker, president of the Center of the American Experiment (CAE)— a policy organization focused on “free enterprise, limited government, personal responsibility and government accountability”—said the location of the fires in the building suggested that his organization and others were deliberately targeted.
“The fires were obviously set by someone,” Hinderaker said, according to Alpha News. “They targeted conservative organizations. They didn’t firebomb the chiropractors or psychologists or Manufacturers Alliance.”
In a Thursday post on the conservative Power Line blog, Hinderaker wrote specifically that “leftists firebombed my office,” though he did not provide evidence for the claim beyond the apparent targeting of right-wing organizations.
He said that the perpetrators broke into the building at around 2 a.m. and lit a fire in a first floor corridor between CAE’s office and a space subleased to TakeCharge—a nonprofit which describes itself as being “committed to countering the prevailing narrative in popular culture that America is structured to undermine the lives of black Americans.”
— Kathryn Hinderaker (@KathrynHindy) February 1, 2024
“TakeCharge is grateful no one was harmed in this incident, and our thoughts go out to the other businesses affected by this horrific act,” TakeCharge president Kendall Qualls said in a statement. “It is extremely concerning that we may have been the target of an arson attack, constituting an act of domestic terrorism.”
A second fire was lit on the third floor of the building, Hinderaker wrote, “immediately outside or perhaps actually inside the office of the Upper Midwest Law Center, on whose board I serve.” The UMLC calls itself a non-profit public interest law firm that pursues “pro-freedom litigation safeguarding against government overreach, left-wing special interest agendas, constitutional violations, and public union corruption.”
“It’s deeply troubling that [...] we may have been a target of arson—an act of domestic terrorism—because of the work we do on behalf of the people of Minnesota and the Upper Midwest,” James Dickey, assistant general counsel for the UMLC, said in a statement. “Most importantly, we’re grateful that our team is safe and, to our knowledge, nobody was harmed in the fire.”