Ultima Thule

In ancient times the northernmost region of the habitable world - hence, any distant, unknown or mysterious land.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Charges Filed In 'Heinous, Tragic Hate Crime'

By Aussiegirl

The media are obsessing over the drunken loutish statements of a Hollywood movie star while conveniently burying this story.

This isn't a hate crime -- it's Islamic terrorism. According to other reports, This man had just come from Friday night prayers at the mosque (makes you wonder what kind of "sermon" he heard there), and had ritually shaved his body and head in preparation for his act, something that the 9/11 bombers did also. Naturally, his fellow Muslims rush to assure us that he is merely mentally ill. Somehow his illness didn't prevent him from obtaining two electrical engineering degrees, and he seems to have been quite clear as to his motivation and intent.

KIROTV.com - News - Charges Filed In 'Heinous, Tragic Hate Crime'

A man accused in the shooting rampage at Seattle's Jewish Federation office last week was charged Wednesday with nine felony counts, including aggravated first-degree murder and violation of the state's hate-crime law.

"Make no mistake, this was a hate crime," King County Prosecutor Norm Maleng told a news conference. "The attack on these women was an attack on the Jewish community, not only in Seattle but throughout our nation and the world."

Naveed Afzal Haq is charged with aggravated first-degree murder in the death of Pamela Waechter, 58, director of the Jewish charity's annual fundraising campaign. Conviction is punishable either by life in prison or death; Maleng has 30 days to decide whether to seek the death penalty.

Haq also is charged with five counts of attempted first-degree murder in the wounding of five women at the federation's downtown offices Friday afternoon; one count of first-degree kidnapping, involving a teenage girl who was briefly taken hostage; one count of first-degree burglary for allegedly entering a locked facility to commit a crime; and one count of malicious harassment under the state's hate-crime law.

Haq's court-appointed attorney, C. Wesley Richards, said he would not comment until he had more time to review the case. Haq is being held in the King County Jail without bail. His arraignment is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Jewish Federation officials said they were satisfied with the charges and had no opinion on whether the prosecutor should seek the death penalty.

"These nine charges do not just represent crimes," chairwoman Robin Boehler said Wednesday. "They represent women who were going about their daily lives, working unselfishly for the community on a Friday afternoon."

The gunman broke into the building by hiding in the vestibule until 14-year-old Kelsie Burkum arrived to visit her aunt, Cheryl Stumbo, charging papers said. He put a gun into her back, told her, "Open the door," and said "careful" as she reached for the intercom and was buzzed in.

"I'm only doing this for a statement," Haq told her as they entered, Seattle Police Detective Dana Duffy wrote in a probable cause statement.

He followed her up the stairs to the second floor, keeping the gun in her back, Duffy wrote. As he asked receptionist Layla Bush to speak with a manager, the teenager kept walking, locking herself in a bathroom stall.

The shooting began when Stumbo, the federation's marketing director, told Carol Goldman, who was sitting in a nearby cubicle, to call 911. Before Goldman could make the call, Haq shot her in the knee, Duffy wrote.

He allegedly then continued shooting: Bush, in the abdomen. Stumbo, in the abdomen. Christina Rexroad, in the abdomen, and Waechter, in the chest. As Waechter, clutching herself, ran down the stairs, Haq reached his gun over the railing and fired down, killing her with a shot to the head, Duffy wrote.

Dayna Klein, 17 weeks pregnant, came to her office door when she heard the shooting. Haq fired at her abdomen, but the bullet hit her raised arm, Duffy wrote. She crawled back to her desk, called 911, and -- with the gun pointed at her head -- she asked if he would like to speak with the operator.

Haq took the phone, and the shooting stopped, Duffy wrote. He told the operator he was upset about the war in Iraq and U.S. support of Israel, and he asked the operator to patch him through to CNN. The operator said that wasn't possible, and that speaking with reporters wouldn't change U.S. policy.

Then, Duffy said, Haq agreed to surrender. He put his guns down and walked out, hands on his head.


At 10:04 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a sad statement on our society, but the media knows it will far get more mileage out of crucifying Mel than on analyzing a true hate crime.

The former will get good ratings, which is what all media live for. Focussing on the latter will make people have to think, and deep thought is anathema to the media.


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