Matthew John Amiot Bio, Wiki
Matthew John Amiot is a 36-year-old man who was arrested on Friday, September 13th, 2019 on a charge of arson for allegedly starting the fire at the Adas Israel Congregation Synagogue in downtown Duluth, the city’s police chief Mike Tusken said in a press conference on Sunday, September 15th.
Matthew John Amiot Facebook
A Facebook account associated with Amiot shows some cryptic images. In one of the image, he points two fingers to head while wearing a mask with the message “He is Risen.”
A more recent has a caption “GoodFella – Never rat on your friends – and always keep your mouth shut. The F in the Goodfella has an icon for a gun.
The quote is probably a reference in the Goodfellas 1990 movie where Robert De Niro was cast as James Conway.
Jimmy Conway: I’m not mad, I’m proud of you. You took your first pinch like a man and you learn two great things in your life. Look at me, never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut.
Matthew John Amiot Family
Amiot list one person as his brother, Timothy Amiot on Facebook.
Matthew John Amiot Suspect in Adas Israel Congregation Synagogue in downtown Duluth
A 117-year-old synagogue in Duluth burned to the ground Monday, September 9th. He was arrested four days later, on Friday, September 13th for allegedly setting the fire that destroyed the oldest modern orthodox synagogue in northern Minnesota.
The synagogue was built more than 120 years ago, Mayor Emily Larson said in a press conference last week.
Matthew J. Amiot was booked on first-degree arson after allegedly setting the historic house of worship ablaze. No one was inside at the time, though six Torah scrolls — sacred Jewish texts handwritten on parchment paper — were destroyed.
Police Chief Mike Tusken said at Sunday press conference, “There is no reason to believe this is a bias or hate crime” at this time. Authorities have not determined the motive.
According to Duluth Fire Chief Shawn Krizaj, firefighters responded to the Adas Israel Congregation at 2:30 a.m. Monday. Krizaj explained at the news conference that the fire initiated outside the building but “quickly spread through voids in the wall space and spread throughout the synagogue.”
The structure was consumed by flames until dawn when it collapsed. It took five hours of hosing down the building before the fire subsided, leaving behind charred debris in what Duluth Assistant Fire Chief Brent Consie called “pretty much a total loss.”
Local police and fire departments and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives have collaborated since Monday to determine the fire’s cause. The investigation is still ongoing.
Rabbi Phillip Sher, who leads the Adas Israel Congregation, called the firefighters “heroic.” “They went into a building that was still burning to save some of our artifacts. The bravery of these men is just incredible.”
Police said they arrested Amiot on Friday but postponed until Sunday a news conference so the Jewish community could observe the Sabbath.
Adas Israel Congregation
The Adas Israel Congregation, built-in 1901 and founded by Lithuanian Jewish immigrants, held 40 families or approximately 75 members.
Matthew John Amiot Court Appearance
At the news conference, Amiot, who is not Jewish, was unknown to the Adas Israel Congregation. He is being held in the St. Louis County jail and will appear at court in Duluth on Monday, September 16th.
On Sunday, Sher said he was consoling and reassuring his members, noting that “true Judaism is in the heart, not in the building.”