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Muslim 'cultural ambassador' charged with setting gay nightclub ablaze

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On Saturday, police in Seattle arrested Musab Mohammad Masmari, 30, after he reportedly set fire to a crowded gay nightclub known as Neighbours.

Masmari was taken into custody while on his way to Sea-Tac Airport.

KING 5 reported:

It was just after midnight on New Year's Eve while nearly 700 people crammed into Neighbours for a celebration when customers noticed the staircase at the iconic gay club was on fire.

The bar later found a container of gasoline at the top of a staircase. According to SPD, Masmari doused the staircase with fuel and set it on fire.

Surveillance video captured Masmari walking into the bar just before the fire broke out. He can be seen carrying a large container in his hand.

It was that video that led to several tips identifying Masmari as the suspect.

Masmari, who was born in Benghazi, Libya, has a long history of assaults, and was arrested four times in King County last year.

View this suspect's arrest history...

Masmari has worked as a "cultural ambassador" at Seattle's 911 Media Arts Center.

Masmari has been charged with arson and is currently being held at the Seattle Correctional Facility on $1,010,000 bail.

His citizenship/immigration status is not known at this time.

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