ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Police have arrested a woman who is suspected of setting fire to the Islamic Center of New Mexico back in November. Isela Camarena, 43, is charged with arson and negligent arson.
Surveillance video captured a female suspect on camera setting multiple fires near the prayer hall and on the turf playground of the center off of Yale and Cesar Chavez around 9 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29. The country’s largest Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), is demanding the FBI and Albuquerque police investigate this case as a hate crime.
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Court documents state the fire caused $2,800 in damage to the building. The Islamic Center said it has cost them an additional $9,000 to fix up the playground and replace the damaged turf.
The director of public affairs for the Islamic Center said they are making more than $20,000 worth of security improvements, including upgrading their gate and camera system.
Court documents stated that police received a tip that Camarena may have been involved in the arson and a warrant was issued for her arrest. The Albuquerque Police Department reports that it continues to work with the FBI in this investigation as they received several tips on the arson suspect’s identity when photos of her were initially released.
Camarena has a previous criminal history including two DWI charges and a residential burglary charge.