Horror on San Francisco streets

A madman ran amok all over San Francisco today, targeting pedestrians with his car and deliberately running them over:

As many as 14 people were injured this afternoon by a motorist who drove around San Francisco running them down before he was arrested, authorities said.

Seven of those injured were in critical condition, police and firefighters said.

Authorities have identified the man who was arrested as Omeed Aziz Popal, who has addresses in Ceres (Stanislaus County) and Fremont.

Authorities said they believe Popal was the same driver who ran over and killed a 55-year-old man walking in a bicycle lane in Fremont, at Fremont Boulevard near Ferry Lane, just after noon. That crash scene is just blocks from Popal’s Fremont address, where he had most recently been living.

Popal was arrested at a Walgreens at Spruce and California streets.

In San Francisco, the attacks began around 1 p.m., but it was unclear in what order:

Two people, one of them a child, were critically injured around by a sport-utility vehicle on the 3500 block of California Street in Laurel Heights.

Three people were hit at California and Fillmore streets. Witnesses said they included a man with a broken hip and a woman with a gashed head.

Two people were seriously hurt at Bush and Pierce streets and one person was seriously injured at Bush and Buchanan streets, police said. One person suffered minor injuries in an incident at 1850 Fillmore Street.

Two other people suffered minor injuries when they were hit at Pine at Divisadero streets, and another two were hit and suffered minor injuries at Divisadero and Bush Street.

There is, of course, a substantial likelihood that Popal is just a homicidal maniac of the type that crops up occasionally. On the other hand, it may not be a coincidence that Popal is, apparently, a fairly common Afghani name. (I leapt to this conclusion when a Google search on “Popal” led me to this website, and this one, and this one, and this one, all of which describe estimable and innocent Afghanis who are named “Popal”.) In other words, someone named “Omeed” (a variation on Ahmad?) Aziz Popal is, possibly, Muslim. I’m therefore wondering if we’re going to start hearing more about his motives in a few hours or days. I’ll try to keep on this story (with my memory, that’s more of a wish than a promise) and see if anything turns up.

UPDATE: This may not be Popal’s first run in with traffic problems. In March last year, in the Stanislaus County criminal courts, Popal was a defendant for an unidentified traffic infraction.

UPDATE II: According to SF mayor Gavin Newsom, Popal is a “relatively young man.” In other words, we have a young, probably Muslim, male, who killed one person and attempted to kill more than a dozen others. I know I’m leaping to conclusions, but I see a pattern developing here. I’ll do my mea culpas, of course, when it turns out that he’s a man with a history of mental illness utterly unrelated to religious principles.

UPDATE III: Fremont, which is one of Popal’s addresses, is home to America’s largest Afghan community. [Correction: Apparently since 2001, Fremont has had one of the largest, not the largest, Afghan community in America.]

UPDATE IV: An unidentified cousin claims that Popal, who is indeed Afghani, is delusional and on medications:

Court and property records list Popal’s age as 29 and he is a member of Fremont’s large Afghan community. A woman who identified herself as his cousin said he was having recurring nightmares about someone coming to kill him and had been taking medication.

“He thought the devil was coming to him,” said Zargona Ramish, who went to the family’s home Tuesday afternoon while Popal’s relatives were speaking with police. “He is a very good person. He is not like that. What’s wrong with him?”

UPDATE V: Apparently Popal “‘made some comments‘ to officers as he was arrested….” I wonder what they were? Were they delusional, along the lines of “I am she and she is me and we are both together and the Devil is behind it all and I saw the brilliant moon explode” or were they delusional along the lines of “I hate Israel, and I needed to kill all the Jews?” Incidentally, Little Green Footballs notes that one of the “hits” took place in front of San Francisco’s Jewish Community Center. I’m not ready yet to give too much meaning to that. It looks as if Popal was all over the Laurel Heights neighborhood, and the JCC victim could have been a random moment given the much larger scale of his attack.

UPDATE VI: Michelle Malkin also makes much of the neighborhood’s Jewish character. The fact is, though, while there’s definitely a Jewish block — the JCC, Jewish Family and Children’s Services, etc. — his rampage was wider. Also, the neighborhood is affluent and yuppified but, again, but for that one block, it’s never struck me as a particularly Jewish neighborhood. (Indeed, San Francisco as a whole is an exceptionally un-Jewish City, something I never understood growing up there, until I had the chance to visit Los Angeles and New York.) That doesn’t mean, of course, that Popal didn’t believe the whole area to be Jewish and, on that basis, cast a wide net.

UPDATE VII: Well, I’ve done my work here. The AP story by Juliana Barbassa now controls the wires and will set the tone at least until tomorrow morning. Since I’m living on West Coast time, the likelihood is that the East Coast bloggers will report on any breaking news about Popal’s statements or motivation long before I’ve had the chance to get to my computer.

UPDATE VIII: It’s okay. Everyone can stop worrying. The killer was, in fact, a kind and gentle man who was simply suffering from a bad case of wedding jitters. You doubt me? No, really, that’s what the latest report about him says:

Relatives of a Fremont man connected to Tuesday’s deadly driving rampage said he may have been distraught after returning recently from Afghanistan without his newlywed wife who iswaiting for a visa.

Omeed Aziz Popal, 29, who sources said was being held by the San Francisco police, was normally a kind and gentle person, said Hamid Nekrawesh, 43, a first cousin in Fremont.

But a recent trip to Afghanistan to participate in an arranged marriage could have caused him a lot of stress, Nekrawesh said.

“He was a very respectful, quiet, nice guy,” Nekrawesh said. “I’ve never seen him do anything violent.”

Zarghona Ramish of San Jose, who also identified herself as Popal’s cousin, said he had been having strange dreams since returning a month ago from Afghanistan.

Some of us deal with our jitters with ice cream, some with therapy, some with alcohol, and some with attempted mass murder. It’s all clear to me now.

UPDATE IX: I just watched local coverage. Apparently several witnesses reported that Popal referred to himself as a “terrorist.” The police quickly denied this. Either the police are trying to hide something (why?) or the witnesses are succumbing to mass hysteria. The truth is in there somewhere. This coverage also had the single relative who claimed that Popal was crazy. Apparently he had dreams about the Devil. I’d like to point out, as someone only marginally informed about psychiatric disorders, that it’s my understanding that, if you know it’s a dream and not reality, you’re not delusional.

UPDATE X: This was one of those rare — very rare — mornings where I couldn’t wait to get to the local paper. The SF Chron, though, in its cover article on this story, was resolutely silent about Popal’s background, on the scene statements or motives. The Mercury News, which includes Fremont in its ambit, was more forthcoming. For starters, Popal is indeed a young Muslim male. The same relative I heard on the news yesterday was again quoted as saying he heard voices. This could well be true, in which case this is nothing more than the sad story of a crazy man. As I noted, though, in yesterday’s news report, she kept saying he told her he dreamt about the Devil, which is very different from hearing voices. Other unidentified, unquoted relatives also said “he heard voices.” For the time being, that’s their story and they’re going to stick with it — and, as I said, it could well be true.

(My statcounter is telling me I’ve got lots of visitors, although its shy about attributing them to any specific website. Welcome, all of you.)

UPDATE XI (or, really, editorial comment no. 1): One comment left here accuses me of racism. It’s true, if you define “racism” in this context as meaning a belief that the known perpetrator’s ethnicity and religion need to be examined as part of his conduct. Given the appearance of young Muslim males in so many acts of murder for the last twenty years, it would be a travesty if we were to pretend that this part of the analysis does not exist when we’re trying to determine the man’s motives. I’ll just add that my kind of racism is becoming more prevalent.

UPDATE XII: It turns out that Zarghona Ramish, the cousin whose name keeps popping up now in news stories about the event, because she’s the one who describes Popal’s alleged delusions, may have a history of her own: A Zarghona Ramish is one of the named individuals in a “cease and desist” order describing a pyramid scheme that ran afoul of the California Corporations Commissioner. An unsigned copy of that “cease and desist” order (which may mean it was never formally entered into the system as a legally binding document) can be viewed here. It’s interesting that Ramish may have a fluid relationship with truth in business matters doesn’t necessarily mean she’s being dishonest here, but it’s certainly an interesting tidbit.

UPDATE XIII: Sweetness & Light has excellent coverage, and good links. S&L also noted that another of Popal’s cousins, who has set himself up as a family spokesman, is a LaRouche supporter, but I think that’s neither here nor there (except that it probably doesn’t speak very well of the man’s intelligence).

UPDATE XIV: Back to those “devils” that reportedly plagued Popal. We hear about devils and automatically think of the (we hope) harmless and unwashed lunatic raving on a downtown street corner. That’s because we’re a secular society of associate the Devil with madness. John Updike, of all people, suggests that the prevalence of devils in modern Islamic speak may be a spur to action, and not a sign of madness. I haven’t read Updike’s latest book, Terrorist (in my defense, I can’t stand Updike’s prose), but I did have the pleasure of reading Mark Steyn’s review. In that review, Steyn offers the following:

Perhaps sensing that he hadn’t exactly risen to the occasion [when he wrote about 9/11], Updike has now given us the Big Novel on terrorists, so Big indeed that its title is simply Terrorist. The eponymous terrorist — or “terrorist” — is Ahmad, a high school student in a decrepit New Jersey town called New Prospect, who gets mixed up in a plot to blow up the Lincoln Tunnel. And Updike gets stuck into his protagonist from the opening sentence:

Devils, Ahmad thinks. These devils seek to take away my God. All day long, at Central High School, girls sway and sneer and expose their soft bodies and alluring hair. Their bare bellies, adorned with shining navel studs and low-down purple tattoos, ask, What else is there to see?

What else, indeed? It’s doubtful anyone could write “the” novel about Islam today — it is a faith, after all, that can seduce everyone from Ontario welfare deadbeats like Steven Chand to the Prince of Wales. Yet it seems to me Updike has gone awry from the very first word. If Muslims were simply über-devout loners, this whole clash-of-civilizations rigmarole would be a lot easier. But the London Tube bombers were perfectly assimilated: they ate fish ‘n’ chips, loved cricket, sported hideous Brit leisure wear. Updike’s absurdly alienated misfit is a lot less shocking than the video that aired recently on British television of July 7 jihadist Shehzad Tanweer: he’s spouting all the usual suicide-bomber claptrap, but in a Yorkshire accent. Imagine threatening “Death to the Great Satan!” in Cockney or Brooklynese. Or Canadian: “Death to the Great Satan, eh?” That’s far creepier and novelistic than Updike’s opening: it’s someone who appears perfectly normal until he gets in the subway car and self-detonates. As for the revulsion at navel studs, compare Ahmad with Assem Hammoud, recently arrested in a real-life plot to blow up another New York tunnel — the Holland. Mr. Hammoud said he had been ordered by Osama bin Laden to “live the life of a playboy . . . live a life of fun and indulgence.” That way he would avoid detection. Pretty cunning, huh? Just to show how seriously he took his assignment, there was a picture of Assem with three hot babes (all burka-less) on a “mission” in Canada. “I was proud,” declared Mr. Hammoud, “to carry out my orders” — even though they required him to booze it up and bed beautiful infidels all week long. But it’s okay, because he was nailing chicks for Allah. So he gamely put on a brave show of partying like it’s 1999 even though, as a devout Muslim, he’d obviously much rather party like it’s 799.

UPDATE XIII: The current meme is that Popal is mentally disturbed — and I’m sure that, but for a few blips here and there, that’s the story and everyone is sticking with it. However, those who are actually investigating what happened discount mental disability as a motive:

But those involved in the investigation — speaking on condition of anonymity — discount any mental illness, saying the 29-year-old Afghanistan native seemed coherent, unrepentant and claimed that he repeatedly drove at pedestrians because he “just wanted to.”

Well! The rest of the same article is the usual “he was so quiet,” “he was so nice,” “he was stressed about his marriage” stuff. From news stories, one also gets the feeling that mass murderers (or attempted mass murders) are just the nicest people in the world.

UPDATE XIV: I’m still keeping track of Popal’s alleged mental illness. Here’s what his attorney has to say (as summarized in the Mercury News):

Millbrae attorney Majeed Samara said that according to Popal’s father, Popal has not been the same since waking up from a bad dream six months ago.

His family once took Popal, 29, of Fremont, to a Kaiser Permanente facility in Fremont for treatment of his mental health issues, Samara said. He also said Popal disappeared for three days last week without telling anyone where he was going.

These slender facts are a far cry from Ramish’s claim that he’s bonkers completely bonkers (see updates X and XII, above, for details) or from the unattributed statements that he was hospitalized for mental illness. It’s entirely possible that Popal is bonkers and that his family was tentatively moving to help him. It’s also entirely possible that Popal had become radicalized, and that his family, which is probably a nice middle-class, assimilated, non-violent family, was trying to change that too.

Assuming, solely for the sake of argument, that the last scenario is true, the question then becomes whether we, as a society, are going to equate Islamic radicalism with insanity, and pathologize the problem out of existence?

UPDATE XV: More on Popal’s alleged “terrorist” statement. The news story I heard last night really rushed over it, with particular emphasis from the police that terrorism is not suspected. Here’s a story reporting the KTVU news expanded on the “I am a terrorist” statement. I wonder if the issue is going to boil down to one of definition: In journalism and American law enforcement, will terrorism occur when an organized group of at least two people, acting under a known terrorist umbrella (such as Hamas or Al Qaeda or Hezbollah), blows something up? If that’s the case, it will never be terrorism if an individual, taking matters in his own hands, and acting under the banner of Islam, decides to engage in an act of mass murder. (And I’m not saying that’s what Popal did. I’m just saying that this story, like the events in Seattle, and at the Arizona (?) Home Depot, and at the college in the Northeast, all raise this definitional question.)

UPDATE XVI: The Fremont police are seeking a murder charge against Popal for Stephen Jay Wilson’s death. Wilson was 54 when he was murdered.

UPDATE XVII: AP’s latest ignores Popal’s religion altogether. Indeed, only in the last paragraph of the latest story does his ethnicity appear. Even if neither was the cause of his rampage, is there any reason to exclude or downplay into invisibility their existence as facts? The mental angle is being played up strongly, with the fifth paragraph mentioning pschiatric observation. Who knows? Maybe that’s exactly the way the emphasis in the article should be. Maybe he is just a loony who is, coincidentally, a young Muslim male who tried to commit mass murder. And maybe it’s incredibly sad that, after the past couple of years, I so deeply distrust the MSM that I can’t take the article at face value, but automatically assume that it’s written with an intentional slant.

UPDATE XVIII:  Here’s the self-appointed family spokesman’s official story:  Religion was not the problem; his parents’ decision to keep him socially isolated was the problem (although he did find time to attend San Jose State and Cal State Hayward for several years).  He’s a nervy kind of guy, and the wedding stressed him.  I don’t know….  It’s not a compelling tale to me.

84 Responses

  1. excellent work. too bad the national media will refuse to pick up the story and pursue it.

  2. The media have spoken: Muslims aren’t terrorists. This man is a Muslim who killed people, therefore he must be “disturbed,” or possibly even “distraught over Bush Administration policies.” But he _cannot_ be a terrorist.

  3. Bookworm: You may be on to something, but most likely this fellow is no more islamofascistical than the other fine young man in Seattle who walked into a Jewish center yelling something like “I am a Muslim American, angry at Israel,”, firing at random as he went. The fact that he was muslim is just coincidental and has nothing to do with the facts of the story, doncha know? “The authorities have a vested interest in keeping US citizens calm by making this an “isolated incident””, according to http://noblesseoblige.org/wordpress/?p=366. Good work.

  4. My brother sent me this story…he lived in S.F. for several years. Here is his comment:

    Do your recognize the neighborhood where this took place? It’s all around SF Central Church. That area, from Laurel Heights through lower Pacific Heights, has a big Jewish populations and a whole bunch of Jewish institutions are located there, e.g., the Jewish Community Center, a Jewish day school, a Jewish nursing home, etc…. In fact, one of the victims was apparently run over on the sidewalk right outside the JCC.

    But, that’s purely a coincidence. We have Gavin Newsome’s word for it. This is not a hate-crime.

    My comment: That’s all folks, move along….nothing to see here….come on, let’s keep moving…….

  5. [...] Some Afghani wackjob ran over 14 people in Laurel Heights. [...]

  6. [...] Michelle’s got a great round up, and she also pointed me to this exhaustive post. Both are well worth a read. [...]

  7. [...] Of course, you don’t see a hint of this in the lefty SF Chronicle’s account linked above, nor in the wire service reports. No, the MSM line now is that this guy was “distraught.” [...]

  8. Bigotry alert: level orange. The Constitution and I thank you for the entertainment. I’m sure the friends and families of the victims are already calling for a new invasion of Afghanistan—or maybe they would take issue with this kind of sensationalism, politicization, and disrespect. Can’t wait for the next O’Reilly Factor. Maybe he can explain why Muslims killing white people on religious principles are terrorists while white people killing Native Americans on religious principles were not.

    I haven’t anything nice to say, so I’ll just stop there. Thanks for an interesting blog. I may not agree with you, but I’m glad we have the right and a place to disagree. That’s the important thing.

  9. Aghani-American Mows Down Pedestrians With Car In CA. Family Has Strange Ties.

    An Afghani-American mowed down 15 people, killing 1 and injuring the rest, in San Francisco yesterday. This San Francisco Chronicle article provides a detailed timeline. Malkin has been all over it since the beginning as has Bookworm. Malkin and LGF…

  10. [...] The Bookworm did a long round of updates that captured a lot of the news as it was breaking. You can see the pattern develop. The perpetrator  was experiencing jitters over his recent marriage. He was mentally ill. He was on medication. He had dreams of the devil, it's road rage, blah, blah, blah. But the last update has this: UPDATE IX: I just watched local coverage. Apparently several witnesses reported that Popal referred to himself as a “terrorist.” The police quickly denied this. Either the police are trying to hide something (why?) or the witnesses are succumbing to mass hysteria. [...]

  11. [...] The Mercury News is not helping matters, suggesting Popal was suffering “wedding jitters.” As Bookworm Room says, “Some of us deal with our jitters with ice cream, some with therapy, some with alcohol, and some with attempted mass murder. It’s all clear to me now.” [...]

  12. So, Tell It, “white people killing Native Americans on religious principles”? Examples, please.

  13. #9 -”White people?” Muslim denotes a religion, not a racial group. And for the record, Arabs and Persians are, technically, Caucasian.

  14. (obligatory Leftist rant)Damm SUV’s! There should be a 5 day waiting period for a SUV, or they should be banned alltogether! This wouldn’t happen if we had “effective” SUV control laws in this country! (/obligatory Leftist rant)

  15. [...] Update: Bookworm points to latest wire stories repeating relatives’ claim that Popal had wedding jitters. [...]

  16. [...] Check this post and this one for the most comprehensive coverage. By: Sister Toldjah in: Breaking News Stories | Email this post    Trackback URI for this post: http://sistertoldjah.com/archives/2006/08/30/re-sf-hit-and-run-spree/trackback/ » [...]

  17. Nice job, Book. And while it’s a little odd to congratulate you given the circumstances, it was nice to see you up on Memeorandum.

  18. “White people killing Native Americans on religious principles” – that’s the best argument “tellitlikeitis” could come up with. And there wasn’t a question mark behind that sentence, I know.

  19. I’d be interested in knowing if the SF area cops are required to hush up any evidence of terrorist ramblings, statements, etc. Seems an awful lot of cops, speaking with the press, go through hoops to distance some happening from terrorism.

    We’ll have to wait and see what shakes down in the courtroom.

    You ain’t no racist! You’re a realist! Sheesh!

  20. Why do people assume that anyone with a Muslim name who goes and commits acts of violence is a terrorist? I see that as prejudice.

  21. For what it’s worth (and it may not be much!) I have a theory. I’ll bet you that Popal ran down the fellow in Fremont by accident. Once he realized they guy was dead, and realized that his life was about to change forever anyway, he let out his inner terrorist urges, and headed for San Francisco (30 miles away), intending to take out as many non-Muslims as possible before being captured. He may have known he was in an area with a high Jewish population, but he wasn’t selective once he got there. He ran over everyone he could, of whatever race or religion. He probably figured they were all American and probably non-Muslims so they were all fair game. That may be why he described himself as a terrorist, even though he has no known history of being one.

  22. As always, DQ has a point. It’s noteworthy that news reports and stories indicate that, regardless of Popal’s geographic location (was it, or was it not, a Jewish neighborhood?) he was an equal opportunity assaulter, going after all races with abandon.

  23. Telling it like it is is exactly what’s been missing from the media for lo these many years.

    Heads up to the new troll — an unending source of mirth in rational circles like this one, is reading the real story behind a news article.

    If there is no mention of a political party affiliation when we read a story about corruption or criminality, we know the perp is a Dem/lib because if the perp is Republican/conservative, it’s in the headline or lead sentence.

    Likewise, if there isn’t picture a criminal arrested for some violent act, the arrestee is a protected minority because if there is a picture, you can bet it’s a white guy.

    This works for every single thing the media care about. Like for instance, instead of telling it like it is, they protect random killers aka terrorists, like this latest one in SF from the ignominy of being identified as a Moslem who has connections to Afghanistan, a country we had to go to war to stop exporting terrorists to our shores.

    If a some skinhead or white extremist was driving around randomly killing people walking in what might be a thought a Moslem community, do you seriously think their religious or political affiliations wouldn’t be in screaming headlines or hysterical news reports across the world? Not a chance. The media hype would be in such overload, moonbat heads would be causing an ecological disaster by exploding all over the land.

    Crying racism just doesn’t cut it anymore. I don’t care, and I very much doubt very many other people care, what our fellow Americans look like or anything else about them, We only care that they are Americans first and that’s not what’s coming from the Moslem communities.

    So called peaceful Moslems who resent being singled out because of their ethnicity would do well to reassure the rest of us and the media that they’re with us, not the terrorists.

    So far, there been precious little of that.

  24. Well, Bellydancerwannabe, maybe it’s because he described himself as a terrorist (see update IX). Maybe it’s because after he ran over the first guy he drove 30 miles to a heavily Jewish community before he started mowing people down. Anyway, no one is “assuming” that he is a terrorist; people are merely suggesting that it is a possibility. Given that certain elements in the Muslim religion have declared jihad, given that Muslim have committed terrorist acts around the world in support of that jihad, given that many Muslims wear the label “terrorist” as a badge of honor, given that the extremists have large support among Muslims generally, and given that the Muslim voices against the extremists have been muted at best, I think any thinking person would at least consider the possibility. Don’t you?

  25. #

    As always, DQ has a point. It’s noteworthy that news reports and stories indicate that, regardless of Popal’s geographic location (was it, or was it not, a Jewish neighborhood?) he was an equal opportunity assaulter, going after all races with abandon.

    Comment by Bookworm | August 30, 2006

    Well, if you are in a car running over people, it’s not like you have operational capability or tactical awareness of current or future targets. You get what you see, that’s about it.

    Heads up to the new troll — an unending source of mirth in rational circles like this one, is reading the real story behind a news article.

    Who are you talking about?

    I don’t think this guy is a terroist. I think he wanted to get into heaven, and believed running over some people would net him this reward.

  26. I have had a lot of training in threat assessment. The media has long promoted a myth that nice people suddenly “explode”. It’s false. I assure you that any investigation will reveal an escalation and alteration in Popal’s behavior preceding this incident. What will be found in his home and what he said and says are VERY significant. He may have had a clear target, or a desire to terrorize a neighborhood or community, or even a specific group. But I assure you, he didn’t just “snap”. And by the way, “nice and gentle” people do not attempt to commit mass murder.

  27. [...] Look at this woman’s post about some idiot who mowed down a bunch of people in San Fran. There is, of course, a substantial likelihood that Popal is just a homicidal maniac of the type that crops up occasionally. On the other hand, it may not be a coincidence that Popal is, apparently, a fairly common Afghani name. (I leapt to this conclusion when a Google search on “Popal” led me to this website, and this one, and this one, and this one, all of which describe estimable and innocent Afghanis who are named “Popal”.) In other words, someone named “Omeed” (a variation on Ahmad?) Aziz Popal is, possibly, Muslim. I’m therefore wondering if we’re going to start hearing more about his motives in a few hours or days. I’ll try to keep on this story (with my memory, that’s more of a wish than a promise) and see if anything turns up. [...]

  28. You are a rascist.

  29. Book may or may not be a rascal, but at least she is on the path of righteousness, rather than the path of loyalty.

  30. just like in the best days of alien abductions or government conspiracies, now every lunatic around is an Al Kaida terrorists…

  31. What if, in light of its difficulty in getting additional airliner-crashing terrorist operations pulled off in or near the United States, Al Qaeda decided instead to switch its focus to automobiles? What if they decided it was a whole lot easier to recruit for and implement thousands of SUV sidewalk rampage actions like the one we just witnessed than to meticulously plot a few ‘big bang’ events involving 747s and subway systems?

  32. Y- What I’m talking about is the media’s selective reporting. I thought that was pretty clear and whether this guy should be called a terrorist depends on what your definition is. I’d say a person who randomly kills innocent people he believes are members of a group he hates, is as good a definition as any.

    What’s your definition?

  33. Assuming that a violent act commited by a young Muslim male is rooted in religious fervor, anti-Jewish beliefs, and an al-Qaeda conspiracy (after all, the man in question was from Afghanistan, case closed) borders on lunacy. This isn’t a matter of “crying racism,” but a critique of an illogical string of assumptions. Hell, even if you believe that most Muslims are terrorists, as some folks on here seem to, there isn’t really any evidence demonstrating that the culprit had any smidgen of intent to kill for a higher purpose, and in fact himself said that he did what he did because he “just wanted to.” That’s not terrorism. That’s not evidence of religious extremism.

  34. Muslim auto-jihadist rampages in SanFrancisco

    Still another Muslim, this one an Afghani, goes the jihad route with a car, this time in SanFrancisco, injuring 14 people and murdering one. From the San Francisco Chronicle (via Michelle Malkin):

  35. # 23 erp:

    You nailed the very thing my husband and I have criticized and now just laugh about because it is so obvious. No photo in a crime story: perp is black or hispanic; big photo, blaring headlines, endless rehashes: perp a white policeman or former military person!

    I have watched news web sites being changed to eliminate the religion of a perp if it first mentions that he is a Muslim.

    Doesn’t a Saudi prince own a huge minority share of Fox News? You don’t suppose that our media has Muslim ownership influencing the reporting, do you?

    I sued to feel sorry for the Russian people because they had to depend on Pravda (Truth) for their news. At least they knew they were being lied to and read between the lines. Most Americans still think that we get the straight news.

  36. just commenting

  37. Somehow or the other folks are hitting my site from your article according to my lava lamp, so stuck up an article even though I wasn’t going to cover this ‘un, having not enough time in my day. Excellent job on the updates, you definitely have the most factual content out here on the incident.

  38. question: why are people with mental (or possible mental) illnesses given drivers licenses???

    i just don’t get it. i hope everyone involved recovers. :/

  39. I haven’t been following the updates, but I think the first victim in Fremont (sp?) died.

  40. all because of wedding jitters.
    anyone who’s thinking of tying the knot, think again.

    freelancer86.wordpress.com

  41. We of the Electronic Harassment community feel this person was a victim of electronic surveillance for some time, had voices projected to him to drive him insane and ultimately seek a solution to this affliction by killing others.

    This is not uncommon for Intelligence agencies to target a socialized loner, a foreigner (or someone whom knowledge could be gained), and one diagnosed with a mental disorder.

    He was a target and was used by powerful persons with an agenda. The victims remain true victims, though Omeed is not the ultimate killer, merely the “messenger.”

    http://www.freedomfchs.com

  42. One of the greatest dangers to non-Muslims in the world today is that the majority of them have not read the Koran.

    That book is THE source of Muslim thought. You don’t know what’s in a Muslim’s head if you haven’t read it. The book does not contain an occasional passage advocating intolerance, as is the case in most other religious texts. It is supersaturated with “us-against-them” “kill-the-infidel” brainwashing. You can’t read 24 lines into it without being told that it is the only valid book in existence and that anybody who doesn’t follow it will receive “a mighty punishment.” Everybody should know that the Koran says it’s OK for a Muslim to deceive non-Muslims, so long as the deceit is carried out in the furtherance of Islam.

    All of that is relevant to this case. Obviously, anybody who would intentionally and at random aim their moving motor vehicle at a pedestrian is a sociopath with mental disturbances. But notice, this incident involved a Muslim aiming his vehicle at non-Muslims. If he is so mentally ill that he can’t be held responsible for his actions, why did he know to commit these acts in an area of SF where there are several Jewish institutions? Could it possibly, even remotely have anything to do with the Koran saying, repeatedly, that Jews are apes and pigs?

    To be aware of the immense danger that Muslims pose to non-Muslims, and to seek to limit the capacity of Muslims to do us harm is in no way racist. Muslim is not a race. It is a sick cult. There are people born into Muslim families who have realized the inherently sociopathic nature of the Muslim cult and have denounced it. If you don’t know about Wafa Sultan, Google her name and watch the widely-viewed video of her facing off against a cleric in “debate,” in which she says “You can believe in stones brother so long as you don’t throw them at me” and the cleric answers “There’s nothing to say to you because you are a heretic.” Another good place to find testimony from ex-Muslims who have come to their senses is http://www.faithfreedom.org

    In their drive to impose a global caliphate, Muslims will say and do anything. One cleric in Britain denounced the 9/11 attacks in front of English news TV cameras but was later seen in a video speaking to a group of Muslims and referring to the 9/11 attackers as “The magnificent 17.” CAIR, the Council on American Islamic Relations, talks a sweet rose garden when it knows media eyes are upon it. Yet one of its members didn’t know he was being observed by non-Muslims when he said “Islam is not in America to be equal to other religions; it is here to dominate. The Koran should be the only authority in America, and Islam the only accepted religion in the world.” That statement is a treason against the Constitution of the United States.

    We need to wake up very quickly to the reality of the Muslim threat. The individual instances such as the SF attack are not carried out by the larger community, which is waiting to achieve a critical mass of about 10% of the population before demanding that we sacrifice first a little and then ever increasing amounts of our freedom to their Islamic ways. They’ve already as good as robbed us of our freedom of speech. As the “Holocaust cartoons” show takes place in Iran, do you think any Western newspaper editor dares run a cartoon satirical of Islam and Mohammed?

  43. Phenomenal coverage and commentary on this story, Bookworm. Thank you.

    “It’s also entirely possible that Popal had become radicalized, and that his family, which is probably a nice middle-class, assimilated, non-violent family, was trying to change that too.

    Assuming, solely for the sake of argument, that the last scenario is true, the question then becomes whether we, as a society, are going to equate Islamic radicalism with insanity, and pathologize the problem out of existence?”

    Bingo.

  44. You know Book, if you don’t come to the Move on Org mountain, the mountail will come to you.

    We of the Electronic Harassment community feel this person was a victim of electronic surveillance for some time, had voices projected to him to drive him insane and ultimately seek a solution to this affliction by killing others.

    This is not uncommon for Intelligence agencies to target a socialized loner, a foreigner (or someone whom knowledge could be gained), and one diagnosed with a mental disorder.

    He was a target and was used by powerful persons with an agenda. The victims remain true victims, though Omeed is not the ultimate killer, merely the “messenger.”

    http://www.freedomfchs.com

    Comment by madlydeeply | August 31, 2006
    I literally, cannot make that kind of stuff up. It is beyond me.

    A terroist is someone with a political agenda, that sees the method of terror as a way of getting what he and his group wants. Now if the guy was just messed up personally, and wanted to get satisfaction, then he might act like a terroist, but he isn’t a terroist.

    If you are talking about people, independent of their objectives, random killing people and thus should be called terroists, then the ACLU should be called terroists because they are part of an organization that lets criminals out, which then the criminals randomly kill. Your definition, fits too many people in my view.

    There is a big problem if there is no difference between criminals and terroists.

    Heads up to the new troll — an unending source of mirth in rational circles like this one, is reading the real story behind a news article.

    Who are you talking about?

    The who you are talking about wasn’t to you, it was to the guy talking up “heads up to the new troll”. Therefore the answer should be a name, rather than a subject like news. I got the former in the beginning.

  45. Y- A thousand pardons for my mis-reading your comment. When a string becomes as lengthy and diverse as this one has, I sometimes can’t trace the comments and appreciate it when a reply includes the name of the commenter or comment # to which it is directed. BTW – I enjoy your comments and it’s usually obvious where they are directed.

  46. You don’t have to apologize, it’s no biggie.

    Ya, usually I separate out my comment by replying to the author of the bold texts immediately. Because I have tried to decrypt various internet systems of conversations, I don’t tend to be as specific anymore. So sometimes I in a rush, and when I’m in a rush, format is dictated by ideas, rather than the ideas dictating which format to use.

  47. I much prefer the French translation by Baudelaire.

  48. As a life-long San Francisco resident I can tell you that the area Popal rampaged through was large, and no part of it is though of, or regarded to as a “Jewish area.” He chose his targets randomly, and actually ran over several black and latino people. Attack against Jews? I think more like a maniac killing anyone who presented an easy target.

  49. Also, out of 19 victims, only TWO were in front of the Jewish Community center.

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