He identified himself as a Muslim and explained that that was why he was shooting, and that evidently isn’t enough for the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force. From “Community responds with sorrow, unity,” from the Seattle Times, with thanks to David:
The man accused of barging into the offices of the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and killing one woman and wounding five others will be prosecuted on state murder and attempted-murder charges rather than federal hate-crime laws, officials said.
Naveed Afzal Haq, 30, appeared Saturday before Seattle District Court Judge Barbara Linde, who set bail at $50 million. Haq, wearing a King County Jail uniform, stood silent before the judge, occasionally whispering to his attorney.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said attorneys would be meeting this week to discuss which specific charges they will file and whether it will become a capital case, which could bring the death penalty or life in prison without parole….
There were 18 women and one man in the offices when the shooter opened fire just after 3 p.m. Friday. The chief said Haq had picked the foundation as his target after conducting a random Internet search for Jewish organizations on his computer.
Haq briefly held one of the victims hostage and told dispatchers, “I want these Jews to get out.”
“I’m not upset at people, I’m upset at your foreign policy,” Haq said in a recorded conversation with police dispatchers that was detailed in court documents. “These are Jews and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.
“I just want us to get out of Iraq,” Haq reportedly said. “I’m an American too, but I want our people out of Iraq.”
Witnesses reportedly heard Haq declare he was an American Muslim. Police have said Haq’s statements indicate the shootings were a hate crime.
A law-enforcement source, who is a member of the Seattle Joint Terrorism Task Force and familiar with the investigation, said Haq was not a practicing Muslim.
On what are they basing this? Probably that the local mosques all said that they don’t know him, they never saw him. But what else are they going to say — that he was an active member?
Kerlikowske said Haq forced his way through a security door behind the 13-year-old niece of one of the shooting victims. Haq had been lingering in the foyer and stuck a handgun in the girl’s back when she approached a door that’s opened by a keypad. He shoved his way past her after she was buzzed through.
“She could not have kept him out,” Kerlikowske said. “She was a hostage.”
Haq “then entered the premises and made several statements indicating anger at Jews,” according to court documents.
But no hate crime here, oh no.