“After approval from the city, we will being rebuilding very fast,” said Hafiz Inayatullah, the mosque’s imam. “We want to get back into our home.”
Since the fire, the congregation has been praying at a rented location in the Bellemeade Shopping Center, also on Powder Springs Street. Inayatullah estimates the construction will take about four months to complete.
At the time of the fire and arrest, law enforcement officials said Mendy may have been in the country illegally. He remains under an ICE detainer, meaning he will be handed over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for possible deportation after his case is resolved, Cobb sheriff’s spokeswoman Nancy Bodiford said Monday. He also has holds from the Marietta and Smyrna police departments stemming from traffic violations.
After the fire, Mendy’s extended family came to his defense telling reporters that Mendy was being framed. Repeated attempts to reach Mendy’s cousin for this story were unsuccessful.
In a letter dated Jan. 1, 2011, Mendy sent a letter to the court stating that “you have the wrong person.” He goes on to say, “why you people keep playing games, I do not understand and do not understand none of what is being brought to me.”