Palm Desert Man Facing Six Years in Prison for Attacking Mosque

Palm Desert Man Facing Six Years in Prison for Attacking Mosque

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Palm Desert Man Facing Six Years in Prison for Attacking Mosque

The defendant was arrested Dec. 11 after firebombing the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley.

INDIO, CA – A 23-year-old Palm Desert man who threw a Molotov cocktail into a Coachella Valley mosque, igniting a fire, is expected to be sentenced Monday to six years in state prison.

Carl James Dial pleaded guilty last month to arson and sentence- enhancing allegations of perpetrating a hate crime and using a destructive device to commit a felony. In exchange for his admissions, prosecutors dropped charges of felony burglary and misdemeanor criminal damage.

The defendant was arrested Dec. 11 after firebombing the Islamic Society of the Coachella Valley.

The attack happened nine days after husband-wife terrorist team Syed Rizwan Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Mali, 27, massacred 14 people and wounded 22 others at the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino. Federal investigators characterized the rampage as an act of Islamist terror.

Dial lit and tossed his accelerant-filled bottle into the reception area of the 1,800-square-foot Islamic Society mosque at 84650 Avenue 49 shortly after noon, according to Riverside County sheriff’s investigators.

County fire crews contained the flames to the lobby area about a half- hour later. There was smoke damage throughout the mosque, authorities said.

No one was injured.

Dial is being held without bail at the Indio Jail.