July 30, 2006

MORE ON THE SEATTLE SHOOTINGS:

The man suspected in a fatal shooting rampage hid behind a potted plant in a Jewish charity’s foyer and forced his way through a security door by holding a gun to a 13-year-old girl’s head, the police chief said Saturday. . . .

Haq, a Muslim, told authorities he was angered by the war in Iraq and U.S. military cooperation with Israel.

“He pointedly blamed the Jewish people for all of these problems,” Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske said at a news conference Saturday.

According to a statement of probable cause, Haq told a 911 dispatcher: “These are Jews and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.”

Muhammad Ullah, a close family friend and a senior member of a mosque founded in part by Haq’s father, described Haq as a quiet loner with few friends.

In a statement, the Islamic Center of the Tri-Cities offered condolences to the shooting victims and said “we disassociate this act from our Islamic teachings and beliefs.”

As they should, of course. I notice some blogs complaining about the fact that area police are now guarding mosques as well as synagogues. That seems to me to be a wise, though likely unnecessary, precaution. The chance that someone will shoot up a mosque in retaliation here is low, but if it happened it would make things much worse. It seems smart to try to ensure that it doesn’t.