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Saturday, July 29, 2006 

Muslim misogynist opens fire at Seattle Jewish center, murdering one and injuring five

A Pakistani Muslim in Seattle who said "I’m a Muslim-American. I’m angry at Israel" entered a Jewish Federation center in Seattle, murdering one womam and injuring five, one of the victims being pregnant. From King 5 TV (via Gateway Pundit):
SEATTLE – One person is dead and five others have been injured in a shooting at the Jewish Federation at 2031 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. One suspect has been taken into custody.

Police take the shooting suspect into custody.

Seattle police spokesman Rich Pruitt said police are confident that only one shooter was involved.

Sources told KING 5 the suspect is a 31-year-old Pakistani man with a criminal background. He is from the Pasco and it a U.S. citizen, but it was not immediatly known how long he has lived in the United States. Also unknown is what sort of criminal record he has. Officials are on the way to the Pasco to interview his family.

According to the Seattle Times, a man got through security at the Jewish Federation and told staff members, "I'm a Muslim American; I'm angry at Israel," then began shooting, according to Amy Wasser-Simpson, the vice president for planning and community services for the Jewish Federation.

FBI spokesman David Gomez said officials believe the suspect acted alone and is not affiliated with a foreign organization.

A Harborview Medical Center spokesperson said five women were brought in, and three of them are in critical condition. They have not yet been identified. Their ages are 23, 27, 29, 19 and 43. The 43-year-old woman was reportedly shot in the abdomen. Two vicitms were in satisfactory condition: a woman, who's 17 weeks pregnant who was shot in the arm and another victim with a knee injury.

A joint terrorism task force joined SWAT teams and a bomb disposal unit at the scene. The suspect's vehicle, a pickup truck, was in a nearby garage in the Bed, Bath and Beyond building, at 1930 Third Ave. Police cordoned off part of the garage before they determined there were no explosives inside the vehicle.

Police said they didn't know if all the people who were wounded were inside the building. They also don’t know how the suspect got into the building, which is said to be one of the most tightly secured buildings in Seattle. There were about 10 people inside at the time.

"Throughout the city, we have directed all our patrol officers to monitor closely all synagogues and other Jewish organizations, and we have also advised neighboring agencies in the Puget Sound area to do the same," said Nick Metz, Seattle Police Department.

At 4:03 p.m. police got a 911 call, saying one or two people had been shot. At one point the suspect himself called police and told them he had hostages.

Several witnesses said they saw a man walk up to the entrance of the building and shoot a woman in the leg. The man then walked into the building and made it up to the roof.

Witnesses said they heard one shot while the man was on the roof. The man then went back inside and witnesses said they heard several more shots.

[...] Kerlikowske said the shooting will be treated as a homicide and a hate crime.

The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle says on its Web site that its mission is to "ensure Jewish survival and enhance the quality of Jewish life locally, in Israel and worldwide."

This past Sunday at Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island, thousands of people rallied in support of Israel's right to defend itself. More than 40 community organizations stepped forward to sponsor and support the event.

When told witnesses heard the suspect say he was angry at Israel, Iantha Sidell, past chairperson of the Jewish Federation Center, called the shootings a hate crime. She said: "We believe in life and it's hard to believe there will ever be peace when you're dealing with people who don't value life."

Regulary scheduled services are still going on in some synagogues in Seattle. One rabbi said people would want to be together at this difficult time.

Various sources recently cautioned temples and Jewish organizations to be on alert for dangerous activity, especially with the current Mideast violence and the coming of the Sabbath.
This is absolutely sick. But even more so is the FBI's knee-jerk refusal to actually call the shooting an act of terrorism. I think a poll gathering general opinion on the FBI's approach to public relations is in order here.

There's one more thing in the report from King 5 that needs to be focused upon here:
Rev. Sanford Brown, Church Council of Greater Seattle Executive Director, expressed shock, grief, and sadness. "This is a senseless and immoral action in which a sick individual targeted innocent people," said Brown. "There is no justification for this violence against the Jewish Federation, no matter the situation in Israel and Lebanon. This crime is an evil act planned by a twisted mind. The Church Council extends its very deepest sympathy to the victims of this violence. We grieve for the families of the injured and dead. We pray that there will be an end to violence against Jews all over the world... Seattle is a place of interfaith understanding and cooperation. This incident does not reflect the kind of understanding and harmony that we have come to expect here. It will take many years for our interfaith work to overcome this tragedy."

The Church Council of Greater Seattle represents 419 Christian congregations in 17 denominations. It frequently partners with Jewish and Muslim groups to promote unity and cooperation among faith groups.
While I don't want to rush to judgement here, I think that Christian and Jewish groups alike are going to have to start acting more careful about getting involved with Muslim groups, because, is it really helping? Not from what I can tell.

Here's a Seattle Times report on the suspect himself (also via Michelle, and read her dissection to understand how the FBI's David Gomez is trying to downplay the whole incident). The word "peace" is featured in his highschool yearbook photo.

Others on the subject include American Digest, Sound Politics, One Jerusalem, Fullosseous Flap, Ed Driscoll, Random Numbers, Ace of Spades, Noubless Oblige, Sam Houston, Blog-o-fascists (plus, another one), The Jawa Report, Church of the Painful Truth, Big Dog's Weblog, Paxalles, Blue Crab Boulevard, Isaac Schrodinger, Buzz Blog, Collosus of Rhodey, Mark Nicodemo, Cao's Blog, Simi Valley Sophist, Sue Bob's Diary, Expose the Left, Darleen's Place, Marathon Pundit, The Right Nation, Lump on a Blog, Planck's Constant, Ninth State, Rhymes With Right, OpinionBug, Plus Ultra, The Yelling Box, My Sandmen, Old War Dogs, RightWinged, Sweet Spirits of Ammonia, Toadpond, Blogmeister USA, Joust the Facts, Clark Mountain Musings, The Florida Masochist, Webloggin, The Daily Bastard, Publius Rendezvous, Hyscience, Riehl World View.

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