San Francisco Chinese consulate arson suspect held

San Francisco, Jan 7 : A man suspected of carrying out the arson attack on the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, California, has been arrested, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced Monday.

The 39-year-old man has permanent resident status in the US, Xinhua cited special agent David Johnson, chief of the FBI's San Francisco office, as saying at a press conference.

The suspect was arrested Friday after he turned himself in by calling police in Daly city, some 16 km south of San Francisco, according to Johnson.

The suspect is currently being held on two criminal charges, including causing damage to property of a foreign government and arson, said the special agent.

The investigators have so far been looking at the incident as a purely criminal matter, and do not believe politics or other organisations were involved.

Last Wednesday, a person got out of a mini-van parked in front of the main entrance of the Chinese consulate in San Francisco, poured two buckets of gasoline on the front door and set it alight, according to a statement posted on the website of the consulate.

Fortunately, no one was injured in the New Year's Day blaze that charred a doorway and damaged the lobby of the building.

After the press conference, the Chinese consulate in San Francisco urged the US to punish the culprit, take effective measures to protect its diplomatic institutions and staff, and prevent the recurrence of similar incidents.

--IANS (Posted on 07-01-2014)

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