March 20, 2017: White supremacist stabs man in New York

On March 19, 2017 a white supremacist killed a 66-year black man in New York in an apparent ‘warm-up’ for a mass killing of black men in Times Square.

NEW YORK CITY – Sometimes a successful terrorist attack is a good thing if it staves off a much larger one.

Um, did that introductory sentence just say what I thought it did? How can I, of all people, ask that? After all, did I not work for an agency that did everything in its power to STOP attacks from happening not celebrating them?

And yet, on occasion an event takes place and, as horrible as it was, its occurrence prevents something worse from happening. That has to be good, right?

Surely nothing more can come from this, can it? (Photo: By Achille Beltrame – Cropped version of Copertina della Domenica del Corriere Anno XVI n. 27 del 5-12.7.1914 illustrata da Achille Beltrame, Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons)

On this day in 2017

A 28-year old white supremacist stabbed and killed 66-year old Timothy Caughman in what he hoped was a ‘warm-up’ for a mass killing of black men in Times Square. The victim was gathering bottles to recycle around the corner from his home when he was killed by James Harris Jackson with a sword.

The defendant was motivated purely by hatred: this was an act most likely of terrorism.

Assistant district attorney Joan Illuzzi

The white terrorist had apparently stalked other potential targets before settling on Mr. Caughman. Interestingly, Jackson turned himself in to police three days later, pleaded guilty to the murder in January 2019 and was sentenced to life without parole the following month. What this demonstrates is cowardice in the highest degree and, thankfully, a man whose larger plans were thwarted.

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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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