Thursday, August 31, 2006

No Motive for California Rampage?

According to USAToday, the "Motive [is] Still Not Known in California Rampage". Out in San Francisco on Tuesday, Ohmeed Aziz Popal, born in Afghanistan but now living in California, ran down and injured fourteen people with his vehicle, one of whom he killed. Although a witness testified to hearing Popal call himself a terrorist, police claim it was not an act of terrorism. USA Today says the mainstream media "discount" the possibility of terrorism because Popal "has had 'a history of mental problems.'" USA Today also quotes San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom who called Popal's aggression "road rage" as saying, "The victims are of all ethnicities and of all ages. There seems to be no pattern."

Now I'm having flashbacks to July when Naveed Afzal Haq shot six at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, killing one and wounding five and told everyone that he was angry with American policy and with Israel over their recent war with Hezbollah. Yet the LA Times could find no motive for the attacks.

First, we have a witness to Popal's claim that he is a terrorist. Next, we have thirteen people injured and one murdered, all of whom no doubt felt terror at being targeted by Popal in his SUV. So what if "the victims are of all ethnicities and of all ages"? So were those massacred at the World Trade Center. True, Popal sounds like a total granola bar, but how stable are most terrorists? Surely, strapping a belt of explosives on oneself to commit a suicide bombing cannot be considered normal behavior. Hijacking a plane and killing oneself, all other crew and passengers and thousands of others surely is not normal. If Popal tells us his motivation for attempting to murder fourteen people and actually succeeding once is terrorism, why shouldn't we believe him?

UPDATE: I just now found a site that had a screenshot of the LA Times so I added that above.


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