White Dude With African American Studies PhD Arrested For Firebombing Spree

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Ilan Hulkower Contributor
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Casey Robert Goonan, 34, was arrested Monday in connection to a series of firebombing incidents at the University of California, Berkeley, a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection press release obtained by the Daily Caller said.

Goonan was charged with “the possession and use of destructive devices and multiple counts of arson” and bail has been set for the suspect at $1 million, the press release noted. (RELATED: Cornell President Martha Pollack Suddenly Announces Retirement)

According to the San Francisco Standard, Goonan — who is white — has a PhD in African American studies from Northwestern University and was arrested at his parents’ $1.1 million home in Pleasant Hills, California, where he lives with them. He previously described the United States as a “god-awful fascist hell hole” in an online article, the Standard reported.

Goonan’s alleged acts of arson are connected to the firebombing of a “UC Berkeley Police Department vehicle and three other arson attacks on UC Berkeley campus during the month of June 2024,” the press release read. Prior to Goonan’s arrest, online pro-Palestine accounts claimed credit for alleged acts of arson on the University of California, Berkeley in a statement Thursday.

It is not known whether Goonan was behind or connected to these online accounts. The pro-Palestine account claimed that the arson was done in response to the university allegedly mistreating a vocal female student who was speaking off a megaphone Wednesday and because the university did not divest from Israel.

They firebombed a building on campus but did not know what building it was, the statement claimed. “LONG LIVE THE STUDENT INTIFADA FOR PALESTINE LIBERATION … BLESSED IS THE FLAME,” the statement read. The group threatened that if the university did not sever supposed ties to Israel, the university would  “FACE OUR WRATH OF REVENGE.”

The University of California Police Department (UCPD) tweeted Thursday that they “received a report of an arson outside Koshland Hall” and were investigating the matter.

Another pro-Palestine account claimed in a statement Sunday that further acts of arson were allegedly done “in retaliation” to arrests of students by the campus police and to punish the university “for supporting the genocidal zionist-Israel entity.”

“Call it mutual aid,” the group said in the statement. The group also claimed that in addition to torching “large portions of a construction site” on campus, they looted thousands of dollars from a supply building, fire bombed a police car and committed arson at other places on campus.

The account dubbed these alleged acts as part of a larger operation called CAMPS FLOOD in the statement. The name of the operation is a possible play off of Al-Aqsa Flood, the name Hamas gave for its invasion of southern Israel on Oct. 7 that left around 1200 persons dead and captured over 200 persons. The pro-Palestine account also ended its statement with the words “glory to the martyrs” and “blessed is the flame.”

The UCPD tweeted Sunday that “a fire was reported at the Dwinelle Annex Construction Site” and that an investigation found that this was an act of arson.

Dan Mogulof, the assistant vice chancellor of communications and public affairs at UC Berkeley, confirmed to the Daily Caller that there were ongoing investigations over “small arson” fires set on Sunday and Thursday on campus and there was no damage to either persons or property. “These incidents are now under investigation by the State Fire Marshal and UCPD is supporting that investigation,” Mogulof told the Daily Caller.

This story has been updated to include information from the San Francisco Standard’s reporting.