October 15, 2002

D.C. SNIPER UPDATE: Clayton Cramer notices something odd in this report:

Authorities in Baltimore, meanwhile, seized a white van and found an assault rifle, sniper manual and ammunition similar to the .223 bullets used in attacks that have killed eight people and wounded two others, WBAL-TV reported.

MSNBC reported that a tarot card was found in the van and a sign on the dashboard read "Gihad in America." A tarot card was also found at one of the shootings.

The van's owner was being questioned by police Monday night.

"At this time, the task force believes this is not related to our sniper incidents," said Louise Marthens, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman.

Uh, okay. Sure sounds related to me, but then I'm not a law-enforcement professional.

UPDATE: BTW, visit Jim Henley's site for a lot more information. He's all over this story.

ANOTHER UPDATE: The Tarot card is apparently a mis-report, and the rest of this story seems to have been explained:

A Baltimore shooting was investigated by the sniper task force but police later discounted any link. In the Baltimore case, a former Marine was shot over the weekend by his girlfriend in a domestic dispute. Members of the sniper task force went to Baltimore to examine the man’s white Astro van.
A book about snipers reportedly was found in his apartment and a sign on the van’s dashboard read “Gihad in America.” But police said initial reports that a tarot card was found in the van were incorrect.
The man was not charged, and was released Monday night shortly after the Falls Church shooting.

Huh. A former Marine with a pro-Jihad sign on his car. I wonder if it's this guy, who really was a Marine, and very well may be "former" by now.