Archive for California

OC GOP Removes Islamophobe Deborah Pauly from her Post as Vice Chair

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , on May 23, 2012 by loonwatch

Deborah Pauly

Deborah Pauly

A year ago, Pauly called local Muslims “terrorists” and was quoted saying she knew “quite a few marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”

OC GOP Removes Islamophobe Deborah Pauly from her Post as Vice Chair

Last night, the Republican Party of Orange County Central Committee voted 47 to 16 in favor of removing Deborah Pauly from her post as First Vice Chair of the OCGOP.  The motion to remove Pauly was brought on by OCGOP Chairman Scott Baugh stating that Pauly’s behavior has been divisive, vulgar and has caused much distraction and division within the Republican party.  At 9:28pm, the votes were announced and Pauly was officially removed as First Vice Chair.

Minutes from last nights Central Committee meeting are captured here.

A year ago, Pauly called local Muslims “terrorists” and was quoted saying she knew “quite a few marines who would be very happy to help these terrorists to an early meeting in paradise.”  The Villa Park City Council adopted a weak statement distancing itself from her comments.

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Nachum Shifren: Racist Rabbi Still Trying to Run For Senate Seat

Posted in Loon Politics, Loon Rabbis with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 14, 2012 by loonwatch

Nachum Shifren is still trying to run for senate. He thinks “White Americans” like “him” are under assault by everyone else. In the past we exposed Shifren for being the racist and hate-monger he is in our article, Rabbi Nachum Shifren: Rides the Wave of Islamophobia and Rabbi Nachum Shifren: EDL is the Salvation of the West from the “Muslim Dogs”.

I am not even sure if Shifren is still a Jew, how can he say this and remain a Jew, perhaps he is a “self-hating” Jew?:

… I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! I believe in peace and justice for everybody – but that’s not why they’re here…. We’re getting sucker-punched because we as white – yes I said it! – as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems.

Clearly he didn’t mean to say that he is a “Christian,” maybe he forgot to add the “Judeo” part?

Also see Richard Silverstein’s take: California Tea Party “White Christian” Settler Rabbi for US Senate

California: EDL-supporting Senate candidate claims to defend ‘white Americans’ against threat of Islam

San Mateo, CA — In the US Senate primary in California on June 5th, where 23 candidates vie to challenge Senator Dianne Feinstein in November, conservative candidates were recorded on videoverbally attacking teachers, Muslims, and minority groups to excite their base at GOP and Tea Party venues.

The video was recorded at a “Get to Know Your Candidates” event hosted by the San Mateo GOP at the American Legion Hall here. Dr. David Levitt, the candidate who recorded the event, reports unmasked homophobia, Islamophobia, and racism in the Republicans’ speeches.

In the video Republican candidate Rabbi Shifren cries, “… I AM an Islamophobe, and everything we need to know about Islam, we learned on 9-11! I believe in peace and justice for everybody – but that’s not why they’re here…. We’re getting sucker-punched because we as white – yes I said it! – as white, Christian Americans are being taught that somehow WE are to blame for all the problems.”

PRWeb, 14 May 2012

In October 2010 Nachum Shifren visited the UK to express his solidarity with the English Defence League, joining them for ademonstration in support of Israel and against “Islamic fascism” at which he was the main speaker. Fired up by Shifren’s Islamophobic rhetoric – he described Muslims as “dogs” who were trying to “take over our countries” – three EDL members attacked an Islamic literature stall and were later convicted of public order offences, with one of them receiving a seven-day prison sentence and a five-year CRASBO.

Shaima AlAwadi’s Murder Less Likely to Be a Hate Crime

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 5, 2012 by loonwatch

Shaima_AlAwadi

Shaima AlAwadi

New facts emerging in the Shaima AlAwadi murder case reveal a family in turmoil, and though we have not reached the end of the investigation, it seems the turmoil within the family has cast doubt on the likelihood that Alawadi’s murder was a hate crime.

The uncertainty and dearth of facts surrounding the case is why at the time I wrote,

*We cannot conclude anything at this point, some facts have been presented, such as the note but we will have to wait for the police investigation to relay more information on this crime.

Of course the hatemongerers, the same people who were quick to attribute the Oklahoma City bombings to Muslims, the terrorist shooting rampage by Anders Breivik to Muslims and many more such incidents are receiving the news with glee. Islamophobes are already jumping to the conclusion that the murder is an “honor killing” though there is no evidence for such a claim.

In any case lets hope justice is served and the murderer identified and sentenced.

We will pen an update about this case as more facts are presented and also discuss the ramifications and the critical distance necessary when presented with an ambiguous murder:

Police Records Suggest Death Isn’t a Hate Crime | NBC San Diego

Police records obtained from the murder of an El Cajon woman nearly two weeks ago suggest the it may not be a hate crime.

The records reveal new information about a possible suspect and a police call made to police — in late January — by the victim herself: Shaima Alawadi.

This case has received national attention because some believe it could be a hate crime. But recently obtained records could paint a different picture.

Alawadi, 32, was found bloodied and beaten inside this home on March 21. Her 17-year-old daughter Fatima found her on the floor of their dining room – a piece of paper nearby. That note and one the family found earlier in the month — has left some fearing terrorism.

“It said this is my country, go back to yours…terrorist,” Alawadi’s son Mohammed said in an interview last week.

But police are continuing to call this an “isolated incident” and no arrests have been made.

Police records reveal on the day of the crime –a neighbor gave police a description–of a possible suspect. An unidentified witness spotted a young man running from the crime scene.

The suspect is described as a “darker skinned boy in his late teens or early 20s … with a skinny build, carrying a donut shaped cardboard box.”

The suspect was seen at 10:30 a.m., about 45 minutes before Alawadi’s 17-year-old daughter called 911.

Police would not comment on these records — which also reveal — Alawadi called the police herself nearly two months earlier to report her 17 year old daughter missing.

On Jan. 31 Alawadi reported the girl had been missing for 2 hours, but the call was cancelled 20 minutes later when the 17-year-old was located.

The investigation is ongoing.

Vandals Strike Sacramento Mosque Again

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on March 26, 2012 by loonwatch

The second time that this mosque, Masjid Aisha has been targeted. Mosque vandalisms seem to be on the increase:

Sacramento: Mosque Attack

(Sacremento Bee)

SACRAMENTO, Calif., March 24, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ – The Sacramento Valley office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR-SV) today called on the FBI and local law enforcement authorities to investigate a possible bias motive for vandalism targeting a West Sacramento mosque.

Vandals reportedly threw three rocks through a window of the almost-completed Masjid Aisha (formerly the West Sacramento Islamic Community Center) last night as two worshippers prayed inside.

“Whenever a house of worship is targeted in this manner, the possibility of a bias motive must be considered,” said CAIR-SV Executive Director Basim Elkarra.

In 2009, vandals broke into the back door of the previous mosque on the site and damaged religious wall hangings and a bookshelf that held Qurans. The vandals also stole items from the mosque.

CAIR: Sacramento Mosque Vandalized http://tinyurl.com/89mhcnf CAIR Video: Sacramento Mosque Vandalized http://tinyurl.com/7wn5hxm

Earlier this year, a man was sentenced in federal court for vandalizing a Madera, Calif., mosque in 2010. He placed a sign in front of the mosque that read “No temple for the god of terrorism at ground zero.” The man also threw a brick at the front of the mosque and damaged its facade.

Shaima Alawadi: Iraqi Muslim Woman Severely Beaten, Note Near Her Body Read, “Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.”

Posted in Feature, Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 24, 2012 by loonwatch

Shaima_AlAwadi

Shaima AlAwadi

A hijab wearing Iraqi woman has been severely beaten and is not expected to recover from a violent attack on her inside of her home near San Diego.

Apparently this was a premeditated attack. A similar note to the one found by Shaima Alawadi’s body was found by the Alawadi family earlier this month, but the family dismissed it as a “prank.”

USAToday reports:

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told the newspaper UT San Diego that the attack apparently occurred after the father took the younger children to school.

Was someone scoping the house out before the attack, waiting for an opportune moment to strike?

A woman’s life has most likely been taken as she is not expected to survive the gruesome attack. What motivated this individual to do something so grisly? If what Alzaidy told the newspaper is true, and we see no reason why it wouldn’t be, clearly we are witnessing an attack motivated by hatred and bigotry.

Islamophobes will try and claim another Muslim did this, but how then do they explain the note?

*I want to point out that we cannot conclude anything at this point, some facts have been presented, such as the note but we will have to wait for the police investigation to relay more information on this crime.

California: Muslim woman’s attacker left note reading ‘Go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist’

A 32-year-old woman was critically injured and not expected to survive after an assault in her El Cajon home on Wednesday, police said Friday, and a threatening note telling the mother of five to go back to her home country was found near her, a family friend said.

The woman’s 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious in the dining room of the house on Skyview Street off Lemon Avenue about 11:15 a.m. Wednesday, said El Cajon police Lt. Steve Shakowski. Police identified her as Shaima Alawadi.

“Based on the type of injuries Alawadi sustained, and other evidence retrieved at the scene, this case is being investigated as a homicide,” Shakowski said.

Police did not disclose the contents of the note. Sura Alzaidy, a family friend, said it told the family to “go back to your own country. You’re a terrorist.” The family is from Iraq, and Alawadi is a “respectful modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab, a head scarf, Alzaidy said.

El Cajon police Lt. Mark Coit said the family stated they had found a similar note earlier this month, however did not report it to authorities.

The daughter who found her mother told KUSI Channel 9/51 on Friday night that her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron. She said her mother had dismissed the previous note, found outside the house, thinking it was a child’s prank.

**********************************

Update I: Shaima Alawadi has succumbed to her injuries according to this youtube user who uploaded video of Alawadi’s daughter being interviewed:

Update II:  EL CAJON, Calif. (AP) — A 32-year-old woman from Iraq who was found severely beaten next to a threatening note saying “go back to your country” died on Saturday.

Hanif Mohebi, the director of the San Diego chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said he met with Shaima Alawadi’s family members in the morning and was told that she was taken off life support around 3 p.m.

“The family is in shock at the moment. They’re still trying to deal with what happened,” Mohebi said.

Alawadi, a mother of five, had been hospitalized since her 17-year-old daughter found her unconscious Wednesday in the family’s house in El Cajon, police Lt. Steve Shakowski said.

The daughter, Fatima Al Himidi, told KUSI-TV her mother had been beaten on the head repeatedly with a tire iron, and that the note said “go back to your country, you terrorist.”

Addressing the camera, the tearful daughter asked: “You took my mother away from me. You took my best friend away from me. Why? Why did you do it?”

Police said the family had found a similar note earlier this month but did not report it to authorities.

Al Himidi told KGTV-TV her mother dismissed the first note, found outside the home, as a child’s prank.

A family friend, Sura Alzaidy, told UT San Diego (http://bit.ly/GYbfB7) that the attack apparently occurred after the father took the younger children to school. Alzaidy told the newspaper the family is from Iraq, and that Alawadi is a “respectful modest muhajiba,” meaning she wears the traditional hijab, a head scarf.

Investigators said they believe the assault is an isolated incident.

“A hate crime is one of the possibilities, and we will be looking at that,” Lt. Mark Coit said. “We don’t want to focus on only one issue and miss something else.”

The family had lived in the house in San Diego County for only a few weeks, after moving from Michigan, Alzaidy said. Alzaidy told the newspaper her father and Alawadi’s husband had previously worked together in San Diego as private contractors for the U.S. Army, serving as cultural advisers to train soldiers who were going to be deployed to the Middle East.

Mohebi said the family had been in the United States since the mid-1990s.

He said it was unfortunate that the family didn’t report the initial threatening note.

“Our community does face a lot of discriminatory, hate incidents and don’t always report them,” Mohebi said. “They should take these threats seriously and definitely call local law enforcement.”

El Cajon, northeast of downtown San Diego, is home to some 40,000 Iraqi immigrants, the second largest such community in the U.S. after Detroit.

Update III:  Reporting from San Diego— El Cajon police are asking for the public’s help in its investigation into the fatal beating of an Iraqi immigrant and have not ruled out the possibility that Shaima Alawadi was the victim of a hate crime.

“We’re investigating all aspects of this crime,” Lt. Mark Coit said Sunday. “The minute you rule out a possible motive, you start to get tunnel vision. As of now, we have not ruled out any of the motives for why people kill people.”

Near the body of the 32-year-old Alawadi, police found what has been described as a threatening note. Police have declined to release the text, but relatives and friends say the handwritten note warned Alawadi to “go back to your own country” and labeled her a terrorist.

The family told police they had received a similarly threatening note several days earlier but considered it a prank by teenagers.

Alawadi was found unconscious Wednesday morning in the dining room of the family’s home by her 17-year-old daughter. She was taken to a hospital, where she was diagnosed as brain-dead. Her family decided on Saturday to discontinue life support.

Police said that whatever the motive, the attack appears to be “an isolated event,” not part of an overall pattern of violence toward immigrants.

Coit said police are unsure about the murder weapon but that Alawadi was beaten with a large object.

Alawadi’s husband had reportedly left earlier to take the couple’s younger children to school.

Alawadi and her husband had moved to El Cajon from a Detroit suburb several weeks ago. The two areas are considered the most popular destinations for Iraqi immigrants to the United States.

The ex-FBI Informant with a Change of Heart: ‘There is no real hunt. It’s fixed’

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by loonwatch

Craig Monteilh

Craig Monteilh

The ex-FBI informant with a change of heart: ‘There is no real hunt. It’s fixed’

 in Irvine, California

Craig Monteilh describes how he pretended to be a radical Muslim in order to root out potential threats, shining a light on some of the bureau’s more ethically murky practices

Craig Monteilh says he did not balk when his FBI handlers gave him the OK to have sex with the Muslim women his undercover operation was targeting. Nor, at the time, did he shy away from recording their pillow talk.

“They said, if it would enhance the intelligence, go ahead and have sex. So I did,” Monteilh told the Guardian as he described his year as a confidential FBI informant sent on a secret mission to infiltrate southern Californian mosques.

It is an astonishing admission that goes that goes to the heart of the intelligence surveillance of Muslim communities in America in the years after 9/11. While police and FBI leaders have insisted they are acting to defend America from a terrorist attack, civil liberties groups have insisted they have repeatedly gone too far and treated an entire religious group as suspicious.

Monteilh was involved in one of the most controversial tactics: the use of “confidential informants” in so-called entrapment cases. This is when suspects carry out or plot fake terrorist “attacks” at the request or under the close supervision of an FBI undercover operation using secret informants. Often those informants have serious criminal records or are supplied with a financial motivation to net suspects.

In the case of the Newburgh Four – where four men were convicted for a fake terror attack on Jewish targets in the Bronx – a confidential informant offered $250,000, a free holiday and a car to one suspect for help with the attack.

In the case of the Fort Dix Five, which involved a fake plan to attack a New Jersey military base, one informant’s criminal past included attempted murder, while another admitted in court at least two of the suspects later jailed for life had not known of any plot.

Such actions have led Muslim civil rights groups to wonder if their communities are being unfairly targeted in a spying game that is rigged against them. Monteilh says that is exactly what happens. “The way the FBI conducts their operations, It is all about entrapment … I know the game, I know the dynamics of it. It’s such a joke, a real joke. There is no real hunt. It’s fixed,” he said.

But Monteilh has regrets now about his involvement in a scheme called Operation Flex. Sitting in the kitchen of his modest home in Irvine, near Los Angeles, Monteilh said the FBI should publicly apologise for his fruitless quest to root out Islamic radicals in Orange County, though he does not hold out much hope that will happen. “They don’t have the humility to admit a mistake,” he said.

Monteilh’s story sounds like something out of a pulp thriller. Under the supervision of two FBI agents the muscle-bound fitness instructor created a fictitious French-Syrian altar ego, called Farouk Aziz. In this disguise in 2006 Monteilh started hanging around mosques in Orange County – the long stretch of suburbia south of LA – and pretended to convert to Islam.

He was tasked with befriending Muslims and blanket recording their conversations. All this information was then fed back to the FBI who told Monteilh to act like a radical himself to lure out Islamist sympathizers.

Yet, far from succeeding, Monteilh eventually so unnerved Orange County’s Muslim community that that they got a restraining order against him. In an ironic twist, they also reported Monteilh to the FBI: unaware he was in fact working undercover for the agency.

Monteilh does not look like a spy. He is massively well built, but soft-spoken and friendly. He is 49 but looks younger. He lives in a small rented home in Irvine that blends into the suburban sprawl of southernCalifornia. Yet Monteilh knows the spying game intimately well.

By his own account Monteilh got into undercover work after meeting a group of off-duty cops working out in a gym. Monteilh told them he had spent time in prison in Chino, serving time for passing fraudulent checks.

It is a criminal past he explains by saying he was traumatised by a nasty divorce. “It was a bad time in my life,” he said. He and the cops got to talking about the criminals Monteilh had met while in Chino. The information was so useful that Monteilh says he began to work on undercover drug and organised crime cases.

Eventually he asked to work on counter-terrorism and was passed on to two FBI handlers, called Kevin Armstrong and Paul Allen. These two agents had a mission and an alias ready-made for him.

Posing as Farouk Aziz he would infiltrate local mosques and Islamic groups around Orange County. “Paul Allen said: ‘Craig, you are going to be our computer worm. Our guy that gives us the real pulse of the Muslim community in America’,” Monteilh said.

The operation began simply enough. Monteilh started hanging out at mosques, posing as Aziz, and explaining he wanted to learn more about religion. In July, 2006, at the Islamic Center of Irvine, he converted to Islam.

Monteilh also began attending other mosques, including the Orange County Islamic Foundation. Monteilh began circulating endlessly from mosque to mosque, spending long days in prayer or reading books or just hanging out in order to get as many people as possible to talk to him.

“Slowly I began to wear the robes, the hat, the scarf and they saw me slowly transform and growing a beard. At that point, about three or four months later, [my FBI handlers] said: ‘OK, now start to ask questions’.”

Those questions were aimed at rooting out radicals. Monteilh would talk of his curiosity over the concepts of jihad and what Muslims should do about injustices in the world, especially where it pertained to American foreign policy.

He talked of access to weapons, a possible desire to be a martyr and inquired after like-minded souls. It was all aimed at trapping people in condemning statements. “The skill is that I am going to get you to say something. I am cornering you to say “jihad”,” he said.

Of course, the chats were recorded.

In scenes out of a James Bond movie, Monteilh said he sometimes wore a secret video recorder sewn into his shirt. At other times he activated an audio recorder on his key rings.

Monteilh left his keys in offices and rooms in the mosques that he attended in the hope of recording conversations that took place when he was not here. He did it so often that he earned a reputation with other worshippers for being careless with his keys. The recordings were passed back to his FBI handlers at least once a week.

He also met with them every two months at a hotel room in nearby Anaheim for a more intense debriefing. Monteilh says he was grilled on specific individuals and asked to view charts showing networks of relationships among Orange County’s Muslim population.

He said the FBI had two basic aims. Firstly, they aimed to uncover potential militants. Secondly, they could also use any information Monteilh discovered – like an affair or someone being gay – to turn targeted people into becoming FBI informants themselves.

None of it seemed to unnerve his FBI bosses, not even when he carried out a suggestion to begin seducing Muslim women and recording them.

At one hotel meeting, agent Kevin Armstrong explained the FBI attitude towards the immense breadth of Operation Flex – and any concerns over civil rights – by saying simply: “Kevin is God.”

Monteilh’s own attitude evolved into something very similar. “I was untouchable. I am a felon, I am on probation and the police cannot arrest me. How empowering is that? It is very empowering. You began to have a certain arrogance about it. It is almost taunting. They told me: ‘You are an untouchable’,” he said.

But it was not always easy. “I started at 4am. I ended at 9.30pm. Really, it was a lot of work … Farouk took over. Craig did not exist,” he said. But it was also well paid: at the peak of Operation Flex, Monteilh was earning more than $11,000 a month.

But he was wrong about being untouchable.

Far from uncovering radical terror networks, Monteilh ended up traumatising the community he was sent into. Instead of embracing calls for jihad or his questions about suicide bombers or his claims to have access to weapons, Monteilh was instead reported to the FBI as a potentially dangerous extremist.

A restraining order was also taken out against him in June 2007, asking him to stay away from the Islamic Center of Irvine. Operation Flex was a bust and Monteilh had to kill off his life as Farouk Aziz.

But the story did not end there. In circumstances that remain murky Monteilh then sued the FBI over his treatment, claiming that they abandoned him once the operation was over.

He also ended up in jail after Irvine police prosecuted him for defrauding two women, including a former girlfriend, as part of an illegal trade in human growth hormone at fitness clubs. (Monteilh claims those actions were carried out as part of another secret string operation for which he was forced to carry the can.)

What is not in doubt is that Monteilh’s identity later became public. In 2009 the FBI brought a case against Ahmad Niazi, an Afghan immigrant in Orange County.

The evidence included secret recordings and even calling Osama bin Laden “an angel”. That was Monteilh’s work and he outed himself to the press to the shock of the very Muslims he had been spying on who now realised that Farouk Aziz – the radical they had reported to the FBI two years earlier – had in fact been an undercover FBI operative.

Now Monteilh says he set Niazi up and the FBI was trying to blackmail the Afghani into being an informant. “I built the whole relationship with Niazi. Through my coercion we talked about jihad a lot,” he said. The FBI’s charges against Niazi were indeed later dropped.

Now Monteilh has joined an American Civil Liberties Union lawsuit against the FBI. Amazingly, after first befriending Muslim leaders in Orange County as Farouk Aziz, then betraying them as Craig Monteilh, he has now joined forces with them again to campaign for their civil liberties.

That has now put Monteilh’s testimony about his year undercover is at the heart of a fresh legal effort to prove that the FBI operation in Orange County unfairly targeted a vulnerable Muslim community, trampling on civil rights in the name of national security.

The FBI did not respond to a request from the Guardian for comment.

It is not the first time Monteilh has shifted his stance. In the ACLU case Monteilh is now posing as the sorrowful informant who saw the error of his ways.

But in previous court papers filed against the Irvine Police and the FBI, Monteilh’s lawyers portrayed him as the loyal intelligence asset who did sterling work tackling the forces of Islamic radicalism and was let down by his superiors.

In those papers Monteilh complained that FBI agents did not act speedily enough on a tip he gave them about a possible sighting of bomb-making materials. Now Monteilh says that tip was not credible.

Either way it does add up to a story that shifts with the telling. But that fact alone goes to the heart of the FBI’s use of such confidential informants in investigating Muslim communities.

FBI operatives with profiles similar to Monteilh’s – of a lengthy criminal record, desire for cash and a flexibility with the truth – have led to high profile cases of alleged entrapment that have shocked civil rights groups across America.

In most cases the informants have won their prosecutions and simply disappeared. Monteilh is the only one speaking out. But whatever the reality of his year undercover, Monteilh is almost certainly right about one impact of Operation Flex and the exposure of his undercover activities: “Because of this the Muslim community will never trust the FBI again.”

Samuel Arrington: Urban Terrorist Wreaks Havoc in Los Angeles

Posted in Loon Violence with tags , , , , , , , , on January 2, 2012 by loonwatch

There is no indication that Arrington and his accomplice are Muslim, their motivations are still unclear. Already the hatemongerers at FreeRepublic are casting Arrington as a Muslim youth.

Police detain person of interest in Los Angeles arson attack

(Reuters) – A “person of interest” was being questioned in connection with as many as 55 arson fires, most started in cars, in a spree that began on Thursday, Los Angeles Fire Department said on Monday.

Early Monday, several fires broke out in cars and structures in Hollywood and the surrounding areas, said an alert posted on the fire department’s website.

An unidentified person of interest was detained hours after Los Angeles police released video of a man who they said witnesses and security video footage placed at several locations where the fires started.

“It is too early to speculate if this person is responsible for the spree of arson fires,” the LAFD alert said.

The security camera video distributed by police at a news conference showed a white male in his late twenties to early thirties, dressed in black, with receding hair held in a ponytail.

Since the attacks began, a total of 55 “fires of concern” broke out, including 45 in the Los Angeles area, nine in West Hollywood and one in Burbank, the fire department said on its website.

Most of the fires started in cars and some spread to carports and homes.

Police spokesman Cleon Joseph urged residents to be on the lookout for anyone acting suspiciously.

“Keep your lights on, be diligent, watch your surroundings. If you see anything, call 911,” Joseph said.

Los Angeles Police Department Commander Andrew Smith said dozens of detectives had worked through the night to gather evidence and sift through clues.

“We’ve reassigned dozens of detectives,” Smith said. “Those detectives are now working together around the clock… We’ve got hundreds of clues, dozens of witnesses, and countless pieces of evidence,” he added.

So far, no one has been seriously hurt, but a firefighter was treated and released for injuries suffered at the site of one blaze over the weekend and another person suffered minor injuries on New Year’s Eve.

One of the fires damaged a house in the Hollywood Hills, where The Doors lead singer Jim Morrison was inspired to write the 1968 song “Love Street” about his girlfriend Pam Courson and what was then a hippie hangout.

Fire chiefs declined to say how the blazes were started.

(Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg; Editing by Greg McCune)

Corrects attribution in paragraph four to LAFD.