Omeed Aziz Popal has, like Muhammad Reza Taheri-azar several months ago, driven his SUV into people, clearly trying intentionally to hurt or kill them. Like Taheri-azar, he seemed completely calm and at peace with himself after the incident.
After mowing down as many people as he could, Popal was boxed in by police and arrested. According to this video, he then identified himself as a terrorist (this bit comes right at the end of the report). Police, however, have already ruled out the possibility that these were acts of terrorism — again, as they did in the case of Taheri-azar.
Here are more incidents of authorities engaging in dubious denials of terrorism.
Was this yet another case of what Daniel Pipes has termed “sudden jihad syndrome“? Perhaps it was, perhaps it wasn’t. But clearly an act of random violence by someone who declares himself a terrorist is terrorism even if he lacks a laminated Al-Qaeda ID.
“1 dead, several injured in San Francisco hit-and-run rampage,” from CBC News:
One person has been killed and at least 14 injured in the San Francisco area on Tuesday after a driver targeted pedestrians on crosswalks and sidewalks, police allege.
The victims were taken to three hospitals. One was in critical condition.
“These are the things, these are so senseless. They’re utterly inexplicable. They’re impossible to rationalize,” Mayor Gavin Newsom said.
The spree began around noon in the Fremont district, where a 55-year-old man walking on the side of the road was struck. He was thrown into a field and pronounced dead at the scene, said Sgt. Chris Mazzone of the Fremont police.
Witnesses said the driver did not slow down.
The driver then crossed the bay into San Francisco, where at least four separate incidents occurred over a 20-minute span.
“It was like Death Race 2000, “firefighter Danny Bright told the Chronicle. “Guys were walking down the sidewalk and the guy just came up and ran them over. The guy went crazy.”
Police were eventually able to box in a black Honda Pilot in the city’s Richmond district.
The arrested man was identified as Omeed Aziz Popal.
More details here: “Up to 14 hurt in SF hit-and-run spree: 7 critical; driver believed to have struck, killed a man in Fremont earlier,” from the San Francisco Chronicle.