Man pleads guilty in attack on Seattle mosque

Posted: Friday, May 17, 2002

SEATTLE (AP) -- A man charged in an attack on a north Seattle mosque two days after Sept. 11 has pleaded guilty to reduced charges.

Patrick Michael Cunningham, 53, admitted to attempted obstruction of the free exercise of religion and using a firearm while committing a crime, according to papers filed May 9 in U.S. District Court. He also agreed to apologize to the worshippers at the Islamic Idriss Mosque.

A grand jury had indicted Cunningham on two additional counts: attempting to deface religious property and attempted malicious damage.

Worshippers said they caught Cunningham pouring gasoline on cars in the mosque's parking lot. Court documents alleged that as he fled, Cunningham fired shots at two worshippers who were chasing him, then jumped into his car and crashed into a utility pole.

He faces a possible maximum sentence of more than 20 years in prison and maximum fines in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

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