Incident Summary:

08/09/1983: An arson was set at the center of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (AMI) in Detroit, Michigan, United States, which resulted in the death of the two suspected perpetrators, William Augustus Cain and Calvin Stanley Jones. Authorities suspect that the two set the fire, and then were trapped by their own arson when the rear door of the building failed to open, thus causing the men to die of smoke inhalation. When the fire was extinguished, the two bodies were found, along with two semi-automatic handguns, one of which was positively identified as the weapon used to assassinate AMI Secretary Dr. Mozaffar Ahmed on December 8.



United States

North America

region/u.s. state:



Attack Information
Type of Attack (more) Facility/Infrastructure Attack
Successful Attack? (more) Yes
Target Information (more)
Target Type: Religious Figures/Institutions
Name of Entity Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam (AMI) center
Specific Description Islamic center in Detroit
Nationality of Target United States
Additional Information
Hostages No
Ransom No
Property Damage Yes
Extent of Property Damage Minor (likely < $1 million)
Value of Property Damage Unknown
Weapon Information
Type Sub-type
Incendiary Arson/Fire
Weapon Details
gasoline and other flammable liquid spread over the first and second floor and ignited
Additional Information
Suicide Attack?No
Part of Multiple Incident?No
Criterion 1 (more) Yes
Criterion 2 (more) Yes
Criterion 3 (more) Yes
Additional Information The motive for the arson is unclear, but some investigative officials believe it may have been revenge because the perpetrators were "found at the scene"; one was identified by a witness as the man who shot Secretary Ahmed, of the Ahmadiyya Movement in Islam center, who was assassinated the day before the arson was set. Both of the suspected perpetrators were also linked to an attempted firebombing two hours after the assassination of Ahmed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation has attributed the arson, as well as the assassination of Ahmed to the group Jamaat al-Fuqra; however, this information has not been substantiated.
Perpetrator Group Information
Group Name Claimed Responsibility
Unknown No
Perpetrator Statistics
Number of Perpetrators 2
Number of Captured Perpetrators 0
Casualty Information
Total Number of Casualties 2 Fatalities / 0 Injured
Total Number of Fatalities 2
Number of U.S. Fatalities 2
Number of Perpetrator Fatalities 2
Total Number of Injured 0
Number of U.S. Injured 0
Number of Perpetrators Injured 0
"FBI Analysis of Terrorist Incidents in the United States: 1983," Terrorist Research and Analytical Center, Terrorism Section, Criminal Investigative Division, FBI, DOJ, 1983.
The Associated Press, August 9, 1983.
'Terrorist Overtones'' In Slaying and Firebombings," The Associated Press, August 11, 1983.