The FBI is investigating the firebombing of three conservative offices in late January.
In the early hours of January 28th, at least one person broke into a Golden Valley, Minnesota office building and set two fires. One fire was set on the third floor and one on the first floor.
John Hinderaker, president of Center of the American Experiment, described the incident at the Powerline blog. One of the fires was set in the first floor corridor between Center of the American Emperiment’s office and space subleased to TakeCharge.
— Kathryn Hinderaker (@KathrynHindy) February 1, 2024
Center of the American Experiment is a Minnesota-based think tank that describes its mission as implementing “conservative and free market ideas” in addressing pressing issues. TakeCharge is a conservative organization that describes itself as “committed to supporting the notion that the idea of America works for everyone regardless of race and station in life.”
Center of the American Experiment posted a video from its president, John Hinderaker, on X. Hinderaker was optimistic, stating that the incident is “not going to impact us a bit,” and referenced a new campaign started on February 1st.
Arson won't slow us down.
New footage and update from our President John Hinderaker here: pic.twitter.com/a3lUnSUKtq
— Center of the American Experiment (@MNThinkTank) February 2, 2024
TakeCharge responded to the incident with a post to X:
Do our offices being set on fire in the middle of the night remind you of anything? Fire bombing under the cloak of darkness against a black man? Eerie. The only thing missing … is the white hood. In today's world, you get a pass, if it's against a conservative black man. pic.twitter.com/jTwoRmNXKU
— TakeCharge (@TakeChargeMN) February 2, 2024
In subsequent tweets, they stated that they were targeted for being a “conservative black organization” that is “disputing the narrative of systemic racism.”
We were targeted because we are a conservative black organization disputing the narrative of systemic racism. If we were a left leaning organization trumpeting the systemic racism mantra, throngs of media outlets would be at our door affirming that we are victims of racism.
— TakeCharge (@TakeChargeMN) February 2, 2024
The second fire was set on the third floor, either right outside or inside the office of the Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), which is a conservative legal organization that has filed lawsuits against diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and other progressive agendas, including a lawsuit against Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison over legislation aiming to limit free speech regarding electoral matters.
“Despite it being terrible to feel targeted like this, we are going forward without any stopping in our work,” James Dickey with UMLC told Charlie Kirk while discussing the alleged arson of the offices of 3 conservative groups in Minnesota. pic.twitter.com/35zf1Z7enZ
— Alpha News (@AlphaNewsMN) February 7, 2024
Hinderaker told The Daily Wire that his organization is regularly “involved with things that tick off liberals” but that there “wasn’t anything going on right at that moment of the preceding where you would say, ‘Uh huh. You know, that must be what it is.’”
A camera in the Center of the American Experiement’s offices captured one of the perpetrators placing an object outside the door before swiftly departing. Hindearker suspects that the third floor fire had already been ignited by that point.
Although the individual captured on camera remains unidentifiable, additional cameras positioned outside the office building may have recorded a vehicle approaching before the fires occurred.
A $15,000 reward is being offered for any information leading to the arrest of the perpetrator(s).
We're offering a reward of $15,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved with the arson at our office building.
Watch today's press conference in full below: pic.twitter.com/W65PzUyV7S
— Center of the American Experiment (@MNThinkTank) February 8, 2024
Hinderaker believes that at least two people were involved, but is positive that they will be caught. He also emphasized that he trusts the FBI agents he has worked with, stating that they are “not liberals” and that he’s “confident that this crime is getting the full attention and resources of the bureau.”
The office building, which also held several small businesses, such as psychologists, chiropractors, and financial advisors, had to be shut down for the foreseeable future due to extensive damage from the fire and smoke.