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Illinois: Muslim Tried to Burn Down OCCUPIED Sacred Heart Church

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He was facing over a dozen hate crime charges and is facing new hate crime accusations, so why was he released? El Hannouny was spitting at officers. He also wrote a religious slur on the wall of his cell. Respect it!

Man Accused of Trying To Burn Down Occupied Church

Already facing vandalism and hate crime charges, police said a Palos Hills man tried to burn down Sacred Heart Church.

By Lorraine Swanson, Patch Staff ,

PALOS HILLS, IL — A Palos Hills man already facing hate crime and criminal damage charges is now accused of trying to set fire to an occupied church, reports said. Osama E. El Hannouny, 25, appeared Wednesday before a Cook County judge on charges of arson, hate crimes, criminal damage to property, battery to a police officer and violation of bail bond.

In November 2019, prosecutors said that El Hannouny slashed the tires of 19 cars in the parking lots of the First Baptist and Sts. Helen and Constantine churches. Upon his arrest, he told authorities that he damaged the cars because, “I don’t like Christians,” according to police. Hate crime charges were added in January, and he was released on a $10,000 I-bond with electronic monitoring.

On April 14, police said El Hannouny used leaves to set fire to Sacred Heart Church, 8245 W. 111th St. According to the police report, El Hannouny was caught on video looking through the doors of the church building and noticing that it was occupied. Police said he made numerous trips to pile leaves near the gas main and air conditioning unit. El Hannouny allegedly set the leaves on fire, but firefighters quickly extinguished the flames.

While El Hannouny was being processed, police said he started spitting at officers, reports said. El Hannouny also wrote a religious slur on the wall of his cell, according to the report. El Hannouny allegedly scratched, bit and spit at police when they tried to stop him.

El Hannouny was ordered held without bail.

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