According to a court document revealed yesterday, the suspect in the New Year’s Eve arson at a packed Seattle gay nightclub was booked for a one-way flight to Turkey when he was arrested on Saturday on his way to the airport. Musab Masmari, 30, is scheduled to make his first court appearance today after a judge yesterday found probable cause to hold him on a charge of first degree arson. Masmari, who was born in Benghazi, Libya, has been arrested five times since May 2013 and police have not yet publicly speculated about his motive for setting the fire.
In related news, anti-Islam blogger Debbie Schlussel, who appears to be a clone of Pam Geller, yesterday claimed that Masmari is an “Obama State Department Arab cultural ambassador.” Schluessel points to an article posted in 2011 to the website of Seattle’s 911 Media Arts Center.
A delegation of Iraqi journalists and media professionals visited 911 Media Arts Center’s offices yesterday morning as part of an ongoing program through the World Affairs Council and the US Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). During the meeting 911 Media director Steven Vroom presented the workings of the organization to the group and fielded questions via two Arabic translators. The discussion primarily centered around the financial and practical workings of the organization, particularly the non-profit model in general and the income sources for a charitable new media center in an environment with little to no government funding for the arts. The concept of a community-driven media arts organization, and the idea of empowering individual voices through access and education, in the context of media independent from commercial or political interests was also discussed. Seattle resident Musab Masmari, a Libyan/US citizen, was also in attendance to act as a cultural ambassador on behalf of 911 Media Arts Center for the Arabic speaking visitors.
Schlussel idiotically describes the 911 Media Arts Center as “some sort of Muslim and/or leftist propaganda outfit to make us ‘understand’ the ‘greatness’ of Muslims and how they were the real victims of 9/11 terrorism and other dog poop endorsed by both the Obama and Bush Islamo-pandering State Departments.” In fact, the 911 Media Arts Center was founded in 1984 and takes its name from the original address of its Seattle office, 911 Pine Street.
Despite Schlussel’s nonsense, it will be interesting to learn if the man named in the above article is same man currently in custody. I’ve written to the 911 Media Arts Center to request further details.