With all the other stuff going on over the weekend it kind of slipped away from the top headlines. Then Sunday morning CNN released his name: John Zawahri. Wha?
this morning (emphasis added):
Investigators have given significant attention to a video message circulated on Sept. 10 in which al Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahri called for attacks on Americans in Libya to avenge the killing of a senior al Qaeda operative by U.S. drone strike in Pakistan last year. Some analysts have argued the Zawahri video proves al Qaeda’s involvement because it surely would have trickled digitally down to AQIM operatives during the hours prior to the attack.So, wow? Shouldn't the media be explaining away such a similarity? They certainly would be if his name were John bin Ladin.
Not to say there's any connection with international terrorism whatsoever. Thanks to the dearth of information we don't even know his religion or whether he's an American citizen. Reports are that the elder Zawahri was of Lebanese descent, that's it so far. The son's alleged actions sound mostly nutcake, partly jihad. But most media stories in similar events tell us a little more than his name. Authorities have said they think this had nothing to do with 'international terrorism', which doesn't rule out domestic terrorism inspired by certain things. Maybe he's a Tea Partier mad about guns, for instance. Just sayin.
We have heard he was 'ready for battle', carrying an AR-15 and 1300 rounds. Check that, 1800 rounds. CNN hinted at an obvious question--how did anyone in such a gun-regulated state like California get their hands on such dangerous-looking weapons and all that ammo? Were they his, or did he steal them? The police say he had/has mental issues, but as we know California doesn't sell to people with such issues. They even take away lawful firearms from such people, even if the gun owner isn't the one with the problem.
Reporters have been rhetorically asking about motive while on the air--sketchy reports are discussed about him being mad about his parents' divorce, but that may have occurred a number of years ago after they first came to America in the 90s. Jihad is of course a motive, but it would be irresponsible to speculate without any facts, which the media aren't providing or even making up.
Normally in such instances we find out a lot of information about the shooter, what motivated him, his background, triggers, baby pictures, comments from neighbors and friends, etc. ABC News has now announced his full name: John Samir Zawahri. We will see if questions are asked and answered before the NSA, IRS, Immigration and Zimmerman stories completely take over the news cycle.
Still only trickles of info on this event (a mass shooting pulled off by a guy named Zawahri in the vicinity of the president, which investigators said did not appear to be a school shooting). Here's the London Daily Mail (emphasis added):
Meadows added that the suspect had recently shaved his head and grown a beard. It remains unclear if the 23-year-old admitted himself or if he was involuntary placed in the hospital. Also unclear are the exact circumstances of his treatment and the circumstances of his release. Officials do not believe Zawahri had any terrorist affiliations, domestic or international.Jihadists tend to grow their beards before a martyrdom attack, so there's that. But we have been assured it was not related to terrorism in any way feasible. And they keep suggesting he was a mental case so let's go back to the gun nut angle then--how did he get the weapons? How about his private life? Was he a citizen? Did he have a girlfriend or was this just another 20-something loser with no girlfriend taking his sexual inadequacies out on the world? How about a shrink?
Did he say anything during the attack? Yell anything anti-government? And why did he let the carjacked woman go and not kill her after trying to kill the blond lady who was driving by, along with shooting at other random people? According to the woman he made her get out and place his bag of ammo in the car, then drive him to the college, while he occasionally fired at passersby while they were stopped at red lights. After she let him out she claims to have driven a short distance then stopped and started running, saying her car was riddled with bullets. Why was her car riddled with bullets? Did he shoot at it after letting her go?
Nothing about this makes much sense. Surely the press has some basic curiosity because this sounds for all intents and purposes like it could have been an attempt on the president gone wrong.
DOMESTIC ABUSE 06/10/13
The LA Times has a story today suggesting a brutal father who tormented the mother after their divorce in the late 90s. In it there are suggestions that one of the two kids, John or Chris, was "a crazy kid". It's unclear because the Times says that it was John who lived with the dad while Chris lived with the mother, which would make him the crazy one because the a neighbor of the mom made the comment.
Maybe that was a typo. Let's assume it was. So, they've established there was a lot of trouble in the family and there may have been a motive to kill the father because he was a brutalizing monster, but we know of nothing since the late 90s or perhaps around 2000 on that front. The police say they had contact with John in 2006 as a juvenile, but the details are not clear.
None of which completely explains why the son would want to kill innocent people in the neighborhood, other than perhaps he was messed up from years of turmoil. The Newtown shooter had come from a broken home and was described as 'quiet'. His computer might shine more light on these questions along with why he chose Friday to execute his premeditated plot. It would also be informative to learn where in Lebanon they came from, what religion they practice and whether they are citizens or not. But evidently wanting to know those things makes a person a bigot.
So let's recap--we have a guy with a name similar to AQ Number One going on a shooting spree 10 minutes from where the president was set to attend a fundraiser and the media completely ignores the obvious, leaving people to grope around on the web looking for info. Searchers will find out he was an Arab Christian not from today's LA Times article, but from blogs like Debbie Schlussel's, weathering a fairly racist rant in the process.
Yeah, the government might reply by saying "we told you there were no links to terrorism" but the same people also told us that Major Hasan's rampage was workplace violence and try guys like Carlos Bledsoe for capital murder instead of terrorism for killing a soldier in jihad. Officials need to understand that they have a public trust, not just a cool government job with lots of power. Media members are also bound to tell us the truth, not something sugar-coated to curry favor with those same government sources so they can get a cool book deal one day.
Of course none of the above completely solves the case. Let's see what they find on his computer; what his friends or acquaintances say; and where he got all that ammo and who may have known about it.