October 25, 2021

Fire Jihad: Muslim Convert Arrested for arson in huge LA fire

fire la

The LA Times has reported that a 56-year-old man has been arrested for arson in a fire that destroyed about $80 million of apartment buildings under construction and a city-owned building. They give his name as Timothy Roston – but his current name is Daud Abdulwali. Of course, the LA Times didn’t mention this. (thanks to Chris and Diane).

“Man, 56, arrested in connection with downtown Da Vinci arson, officials say,” LA Times, May 28, 2015

A 56-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of arson in connection with a fire that destroyed a downtown Los Angeles apartment complex last year, causing tens of millions of dollars in damage to the unfinished structure and a nearby city-owned building, authorities said Wednesday.


Dawud Abdulwali was detained Tuesday morning by the Los Angeles Police Department’s anti-terrorism division on a traffic violation and later booked on suspicion of arson of a structure and aggravated arson. He is being held on more than $1-million bail and is expected to be formally charged Thursday, according to a spokesman for the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office.

“This arrest illustrates that crime will not be tolerated in Los Angeles,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said at a news conference Wednesday outside City Hall. “We will arrest you. We will prosecute you to the fullest extent of the law.”

Abdulwali’s arrest followed an intense investigation that began even before firefighters fully extinguished the Dec. 8 blaze at the seven-story Da Vinci complex. The speed of the fire, which broke out about 1:20 a.m. and soon engulfed the mostly wooden structure, raised suspicion from the outset.

Investigators combed through 75,000 square feet of debris and spent thousands of hours gathering evidence to zero in on Abdulwali, said Carlos Canino, the special agent in charge of the L.A. office of the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

Officials were tight-lipped about what may have motivated the setting of the fire. Saying they did not want to jeopardize the prosecution’s case, investigators did not reveal what led them to Abdulwali or what allegedly tied him to the blaze.

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Little is known of Abdulwali, who may have used the alias Timothy Roston. Abdulwali rented a back room in a South L.A. house, according to his landlord, Poleth Chavez. In December, about the time of the fire, he paid two months’ rent upfront and left, saying he was heading to San Francisco, Chavez said.

“He’s pretty quiet. He keeps to himself,” Chavez said about her tenant.

Canino said Abdulwali has no known history of arson convictions. Investigators did not find a connection between him and the Da Vinci apartment complex, but asserted that Abdulwali was the sole suspect.