What was the motive of the guy who shot up the Jewish Center in Seattle? L.A. Times editor Dean Baquet says:
You got me!
Yes, if you ask the editors of the Los Angeles Times, it’s an utter mystery why the shootings occurred. At least, if you look at Page One. Here is a graphic from the paper’s front page today, teasing stories appearing inside the paper:
The teaser leads to a story on Page A22, which contains the following clue to the “mystery” of the shooter’s motive:
Haq reportedly shouted about his anger toward Jews, toward Israel and its war in Lebanon, and toward U.S. policy in Iraq.
Hmmmm. Yes, it’s a head-scratcher. Further clues to this impenetrable conundrum appear further down in the story:
According to [Seattle Police Chief R. Gil Kerlikowske], Haq said he “wanted the U.S. to leave Iraq, that his people had been mistreated, the U.S. was arming Israel, and he didn’t care if he died.”
The official police report, released Saturday and based on interviews with witnesses in the office and on the transcript of the 911 call, quoted Haq as saying: “I’m not upset at you people; I’m upset at your foreign policy. These are Jews, and I’m tired of getting pushed around and our people getting pushed around by the situation in the Middle East.”
Then he repeated his name and gave his Social Security number, adding: “I just want us to get out of Iraq. I’m an American too, but I want our people out of Iraq.”
By Jove, Watson! I do believe we are getting closer to the solution of this indecipherable enigma!
Let’s look at some other news reports to see if we can get to the bottom of this brain-teaser. The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:
“He said, ‘I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,’ before opening fire on everyone,” said Marla Meislin-Dietrich, a database coordinator for the center. “He was randomly shooting at everyone.”
Jot that down, Watson! He said he was “angry at Israel.” I do believe that could be a clew.
The AP gives us further leads in this story:
Seattle police said Haq picked up the two handguns and spare ammunition just days earlier, and appeared to have targeted the federation after a cursory Internet search for Jewish organizations.
Remember that, Watson! “Jewish organizations.” Why, I do believe that was the very type of organization that ended up being targeted! Yes, I believe we may be onto something here.
The game’s afoot!
We’ll examine what the paper may have really meant using the paper’s own style of burying context: by placing it below the fold.