More details on the jihadist killer who murdered one and wounded five at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle yesterday. "Hatred hits home: 6 shot at Jewish office," from the Seattle Times, with thanks to Rudi:
A Muslim man angry with Israel barged into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle Friday afternoon and opened fire with a handgun, killing one woman and wounding five others before surrendering to police.
Three of the women were in critical condition late Friday.
A law-enforcement source identified the arrested suspect as Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, who until recently had lived in Everett, and said Haq apparently has a history of mental illness. Court records show Haq has a charge of lewd conduct pending against him in Benton County.
So that is what the focus will be upon: mental illness and lewd conduct. And once again the media will ignore the question of why a man who describes himself as a Muslim American angry at Israel would think that murder of innocents was an appropriate outlet for his anger. No one will ever consider whether such behavior is encouraged by the texts and atmospherics of Islam, and if so, what can be done about it.
The shooting came a day after the FBI had warned Jewish organizations nationwide to be on alert after Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon and al-Qaida's second in command urged that the war raging in the Middle East be carried to the U.S. However, the law-enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is no evidence Haq was involved with any group.
When (if ever) will law enforcement officials realize that it is enough for Zawahiri and others to say this sort of thing? That that in itself is enough to move some Muslims to act? There doesn't need to be any organizational connection for there to be an ideological connection, an identity of motive and goal.
"He said he hates Israel," said the source, who is part of the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force, which was called in to help investigate the shootings.
David Gomez, the assistant special agent-in-charge of the Seattle FBI office, said there is "nothing to indicate he is part of a larger organization."
"We believe he is a lone individual with antagonism toward this organization," said Gomez.
He didn't say he was angry with the Jewish Center. He said he was angry with Israel. Israel is not an organization. It is a sovereign state.
Witnesses said the man announced he was an Muslim American as he forced his way into the federation offices just after 4 p.m. and fired randomly at employees with a semiautomatic 9-mm handgun. Seattle Police Assistant Chief Nick Metz said there were at least 18 people in the offices when the shooting started.
Witnesses say the gunman shot one receptionist, then ordered her to dial 911. He then took the phone from her.
"He told the police that it was a hostage situation and he wanted us to get our weapons out of Israel," said one woman who heard the account from the wounded co-worker.
Yes, this is all about mental illness. This has nothing to do with jihadist hostage-taking and murder.
The woman, who would not allow her name to be used, said she was at her desk when she heard what she thought were balloons popping.
"It went 'Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop! Pop!' and then we heard a woman scream," said the employee. The man surrendered about 15 minutes after the shooting started. The center is located on Third Avenue between Lenora and Virginia streets in Belltown.
During a news conference Friday night, Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said that, based on the conversation Haq had with 911 dispatchers, police are treating the shootings as a hate crime.
A Harborview Medical Center spokesman said all the victims were women, ranging in age from their early 20s to 40s. Three were in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday evening. One woman, age 43, was shot in the abdomen, according to Seattle Fire Department medics. Another was 17 weeks pregnant.
One of the victims was identified by family members as 23-year-old Layla Bush. "We just heard she's alive a minute or two ago," said her mother, Kathryn Bush, from her home in Panama City, Fla. The other wounded victims have been identified as Carol Goldman, Dayna Klein, Christina Rexroad and Cheryl Stumbo.
Most of the shooting victims were able to flee the building. Federation employee Marla Meislin-Dietrich said security videotapes show the gunman shoved his way past another employee who had just entered a pass code to open a security door.
"He was armed and he pushed his way in," she said.
Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation, said the man told staff members, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," then began shooting, Wasser-Simpson said she heard the account from staff members who witnessed the shootings....
Haq's father, Mian A. Haq, was a founding member of the Islamic Centre of Tri-Cities in Richland, said center member Youseff Shehadeh. He described the younger Haq as a loner who attended holidays at the center but was barely involved in recent years.
Naveed Haq's parents moved into a new suburb in Pasco less than three years ago after living in nearby Richland for more than a decade, said Maureen Hales, a neighbor.
Mian Haq was involved in an Islamic center in Richland, but he did not discuss his religion with his neighbors, said Hales.
She said she had not seen Naveed Haq, but found his parents and his younger brother, Hasan, to be "quite enjoyable." The two families exchanged food, and Maureen Hales said she watches the Haqs' house when they're away.
Naveed Haq lived in an apartment building at 2924 Nassau St. in Everett until about two weeks ago, when he abruptly left, said tenant Chris Richey. The landlady told Richey that Haq was heading to Pakistan. Richie often talked with Haq about guns and politics, though little stuck out. Richey said Haq didn't like President Bush....
"There was something strange about him," Richey said. "There was something about him I didn't like."
A friend, Andres Atencio, 29, a real-estate agent in Maple Valley, said he lost touch with Haq after high school. He described Haq as studious and friendly.
"He was pretty much just a normal guy. He was a little more toward the academic side than the average high-school person," Atencio said. "He was the kind of guy when you talked to him he was always laughing ... not outgoing but not reclusive either."...
Kerlikowske said extra officers would be posted at temples, synagogues and mosques in the area even though Seattle police and the FBI believe the shooter acted alone.
He said police would be posted at mosques to prevent "retaliatory" crimes.
Great. I'm glad of that. But it should be borne in mind that there have been virtually no such "relatiatory" crimes -- not in North Carolina after Taheri-azar committed his jihad attack in Chapel Hill, not after another jihadist shot up the El Al ticket counter at LAX, and not after other Muslims have committed jihad hate attacks in the U.S.
The Washington, D.C.-based Council on American-Islamic Relations, issued a statement calling the shootings a "senseless attack on a religious institution."
"The American Muslim and Jewish communities must do whatever is within their power to prevent the current conflict in the Middle East from being transplanted to this country," the council said.
Good. Then I expect CAIR will stop enflaming tensions with trumped-up hate crimes and speciously vague condemnations of terrorism.
Here is the obligatory story about what a great guy Haq is and what a surprise this is -- also from the Seattle Times, with thanks to Rudi.