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Today in Terrorism

April 27 2019 | California Synagogue shootings

On this day in 2019, a 20-year old white supremacist shot and killed a woman and wounded 3 others in a California synagogue.

Anti-Semitism is a scourge that never seems to go away: at times this scales up to mass murder.

POWAY, CALIFORNIA — One of the many conspiracy theories making its way around the Internet in these coronavirus times is that COVID-19 is a disease manufactured in a lab somewhere and deployed by a shadowy group to ‘take over the world’. Some people are just into these wacko ideas and always see some nefarious actors behind everything that is going bad.

And when it comes to ‘nefarious actors’ there is of course none worse than…the Jews. The number of variations on this theme is probably beyond count and goes back centuries. There was even a Russian fake tract called ‘The Protocols of the Elders of Zion’ that appeared in the very early 20th century and described a plan by ‘the Jews’ to assert global domination. The current favourite among this set is Hungarian philanthropist George Soros.

Luckily, most anti-Semites are nothing more than losers and wankers who live online and trade theories and diabolical ideas. They never venture beyond their pathetic screens and hence pose no danger to society.

On occasion, however, one gets out of his den and engages in acts of violence against those he (I use ‘he’ deliberately as it a guy 99% of the time) sees as ‘the enemy’. On this day just last year a 20-year old wanker named John T. Earnest entered a synagogue in Poway, California and shot dead 61-year old Lori Gilbert-Kaye and wounded three others. He had been inspired by the attack on two mosques by a white supremacist in New Zealand a month earlier.

Earnest had posted an ‘open letter’ to the online platform 8chan in which he expressed hatred for Jews. He also smirked during an in court showing of the death of Ms. Gilbert-Kaye, and flashed a “hang-loose” gesture with one hand, thumb and little finger extended, to spectators in the courtroom.

The death toll in California was thankfully light in this instance: there have been many other incidents that were much more horrendous. One thing is certain: blaming the Jews for all kinds of worldly ills will not cease and a small number of not very bright people will direct their conspiracy theories into violence.

By Phil Gurski

Phil Gurski is the President and CEO of Borealis Threat and Risk Consulting Ltd. Phil is a 32-year veteran of CSE and CSIS and the author of six books on terrorism.

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