Presidential press secretary Tony Snow today refused to answer whether a Muslim man’s deadly attack on a Jewish center in Seattle should be considered terrorism.
At today’s White House daily briefing, WND asked Snow: “Last Friday, a Muslim American denouncing Jews and Israel took a 13-year-old girl hostage at the Jewish Federation Center in Seattle and shot six women, one of them dead. Yet, the FBI and other law enforcement authorities refuse to call this terrorism. The president says we’re in a war on terrorism. Can you or the president better define terrorism so the American people can understand just who or what it is we are fighting?
Snow replied: “I hate to use the murder of innocents as an attempt to make a debating point about terror. And I’m not going to do it.”
Last Friday, Naveed Afzal Haq of Pasco, Wash., broke through security Jewish Federation Center in Seattle and announced to staff members: “I’m a Muslim American; I’m angry at Israel.” The 30-year-old immediately began shooting randomly with a semiautomatic 9-mm handgun at the 18 employees and visitors in the offices.
FBI spokesman David Gomez said officials believe the suspect acted alone and is not affiliated with a foreign organization. Haq’s father was a founding member of the Islamic Centre of Tri-Cities in Richland, near Pasco in southeastern Washington.
According to a former neighbor, Haq said he was planning to go to Pakistan; spoke often about guns and politics; and didn’t like President Bush.
The FBI has labeled the shootings a “hate crime” based on what the gunman told police in a 911 call.
President Bush later appeared unexpectedly at today’s White House briefing, the final one before the cramped and aging press room undergoes a nine-month renovation.
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