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Accused Islamic center arsonist arraigned

A man accused of fashioning Molotov cocktails from Frappuccino bottles and hurling them at several locations said he wanted to inflict damage on an Islamic center because Muslims had been trying to take over his life for 40 years, according to court papers released Thursday.

Ray Lazier Lengend was arraigned on charges of arson as a hate crime and several other counts of arson in the five firebomb attacks on New Year's Day. The targets included a home in Nassau County.

Lengend appeared groggy and dazed during the hearing via video conference from his bedside at Bellevue Hospital Center. His attorney did not comment outside court and didn't return a call seeking comment.

No one was injured in the attacks and only one target, a private home, was seriously damaged.

Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said Lengend filled the bottles with gasoline and set out in a stolen Buick.

He lobbed one bottle over the counter at a convenience store, threw two at the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation, and one at a house used as a Hindu temple, prosecutors said. One cracked through a window at a private home and did serious damage, and he also threw one that didn't ignite at the Elmont home of his brother-in-law, they said.

Lengend, 40, from Guyana, gave investigators a variety of reasons, all personal, for targeting the various locations, authorities said. For example, he'd been kicked out by the first target, the convenience store, a few days earlier for trying to shoplift a carton of milk and a Frappuccino bottle and came back for revenge, according to papers.

The Imam Al-Khoei Foundation was targeted in part because he once wasn't allowed to use the bathroom there, authorities said.

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