Man Who Set Fire to Orlando Nightclub Shooter's Mosque Sentenced to 30 Years in Prison

Feb 06, 2017

(FORT PIERCE, Fla.) — An ex-convict who investigators say confessed to setting fire to a Florida mosque tied to the Orlando nightclub shooter has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Thirty-two-year-old Joseph Schneider pleaded no contest to second-degree arson during Monday's hearing in Fort Pierce. A no contest plea is treated the same as a guilty plea.

Prosecutor Steve Gosnell says Schreiber confessed to detectives that he set the fire, saying he believed Muslims "are trying to infiltrate our government" and that "the teaching of Islam should be completely, completely illegal."

Schneider read a written statement where he said the fire was not cause by hate but by his anxiety.

Schreiber set the fire at the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce last Sept. 11, the 15th anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks. No one was injured in the fire. Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen sometimes attended the mosque.

Last July, Schreiber, who is Jewish, posted on Facebook that "All Islam is radical" and that all Muslims should be treated as terrorists and criminals.

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