Yan Feng, Consulate Arson Suspect: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Authorities have named Yan Feng as the man they suspect is responsible for the New Year’s Day fire at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco. Here’s what you need to know:

1. He Attacked the Consulate Because of Voices in His Head

Yan Feng, Yan Feng arsonist

The report offers an extended description of Feng’s acts of arson. The upshot is that Feng packed up a 2002 Honda Odyssey minivan with three containers of gasoline and drove out to the Chinese Consulate at 1450 Laguana Street. Once there, he splashed some gasoline on the front door and steps of the consulate, before arranging the three gas containers on the ground in front of the steps. He attempted to light the fire with his passport, but when he could not get it to catch, he lit one of the three containers, and broke the cardinal rule of all cool guys, by looking at the explosion, before returning to his minivan:

Feng explained to his interrogators that he chose the Chinese consulate, because the voices he was hearing in his head were speaking in Chinese.

2. If Convicted, Feng Would Face Mandatory Minimum of 5 Years in Jail

Yan Feng

The report explains that under federal law, anyone found to have willfully damaged the property of an organization involved in foreign commerce, shall be imprisoned for no less than five years, and no more than 20. Because the Consulate was known to give out passports, which are critical to foreign commerce, the FBI believes this statute would apply to Feng’s arson.

3.The Bombing Was Captured By Surveillance Cameras

Yan Feng

via AP

Surveillance video recorded by the cameras of a residential complex across the street from the consulate, revealed an individual with long black hair and a thin build, dark sunglasses, and a blue jacket.

4. He Turned Himself in With a 911 Call

Yan Feng

On January 3rd, 2014, the Daly City Police department, of Daly City, California, received a call from a man claiming responsibility for the fire. Through the aid of Mandarin translator,l the man said he had “made the fire” at the “Chinese embassy,” and identified himself as Yan Feng.

5. Chinese State Media Had Blamed American Anti-Chinese Prejudice for Attack

Yan Feng

China’s Global Times, ran an op-ed laying blame for the consulate fire on the US government’s backing of anti-Chinese sentiment, writing:

“China and its government are frequent headline-grabbers in the U.S. mainstream media. Emotionally backed by U.S. public opinion, anti-China forces are even funded by the U.S. government and some social communities. With such support, they are more audacious to take dramatic and radical actions against China.”

The op-ed also argued that the United States should have provided the consulate its own security force.

The full text of the criminal complaint can be read below:

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