Muslim sex offender charged with Las Vegas synagogue arson

A Muslim suspect in the arson of a Las Vegas synagogue last week was charged with setting two fires.

Afshin Bahrampour, a suspect in the arson of a Las Vegas synagogue last week, was charged in court on Thursday with setting two fires.

Bahrampour, 47, was not asked to enter a plea at his first court appearance on felony arson and burglary charges. He is suspected of setting fire to a car late last Monday outside the Chabad Jewish Center of Las Vegas and to a trash can fire inside the building.

Police and a rabbi said Bahrampour was identified on synagogue surveillance video just before both fires. He was found in a nearby shopping center while firefighters doused the car fire.

Two other vehicles were also damaged, but no injuries were reported. The wastebasket fire caused no damage to the building.

The suspect’s defense attorney, Rafael Nones, declined comment about the case after the hearing.

The FBI was also examining the case, said agency spokeswoman Sandra Breault.

Las Vegas Justice of the Peace Deborah Lippis set a May 25 preliminary hearing for Bahrampour, who remains jailed without bail. He could face decades in prison if convicted.

Last September, Bahrampour pleaded the equivalent of no contest to misdemeanor attempted arson after seen in a security video tossing an item into a trash can that caught fire at a state office building in Las Vegas. The building includes offices for the state Legislature and top state officials, including the governor. He told authorities at the time that he was homeless.

Bahrampour is also a registered sex offender.

By: AP and World Israel News Staff