A trial date has been set for the former Capitol Hill man suspected in the New Year’s arson at Neighbours nightclub. According to court documents the trial for Musab Musmari, 30, is scheduled to start May 29th in King County Superior Court. Musmari pleaded not guilty to the arson charge in February.
Musmari was charged in the incident a month after a fire was set, and swiftly dowsed, inside the gay nightclub on Capitol Hill. He was arrested while en-route to the airport with a one-way ticket to Turkey and two passports. According to court documents, Musmari purchased the ticket a day before his flight after allegedly hearing about media reports that he was a suspect in the case.
Musmari, who remains detained at the King County Jail, also has other ongoing cases unrelated to the incident at Neighbours.
As more than 700 revelers celebrated the first minutes of 2014, flames shot up inside the popular gay nightclub before being doused by a quick acting Neighbours employee and patron. No injuries were reported.
Court documents in the sprawling investigation show how Seattle Police are casting a net into the pools of data and customer records at the big companies that provide online and phone services as authorities search for evidence that Musmari’s alleged attack targeted Neighbours because of the club’s presence in Seattle’s gay community.
The documents also detail the role the FBI has played as it used a confidential informant to learn more about Musmari’s activities as part of its terrorism and hate crime investigation.
“The hate crime, if evidence were developed of that crime, would be based on the fact that Neighbours is primarily a business catering to LGBTQ clientele,” the court filings read. According to the documents, the informant contacted the FBI on January 7th after meeting with Musmari, who has also gone by the names Masmari and AlMesmari, at Fatima’s Cafe on E Union.