Today in Stochastic Violence and Terrorism: Bloomington, Minnesota Mosque Firebombed

From The Minneapolis Star Tribune:

A blast caused by what the FBI called “an improvised explosive device” rocked a Bloomington Islamic center before dawn Saturday, just as a small group of Muslim worshipers had gathered for the day’s first round of prayers.

No one was hurt in the explosion, which heavily damaged an imam’s office at the Dar Al Farooq Center and sent smoke wafting through the large building. Windows in the office were shattered, either by the blast or by an object thrown through them.

The blast was reported at 5:05 a.m. as about a dozen people gathered in a room nearby for morning prayers and jolted awake many residents of the neighborhood. Congregants and neighbors expressed relief that there were no injuries, but also reacted with shock and dismay.

When police arrived, they found smoke and fire damage to the building, said Bloomington Police Chief Jeff Potts. Agents from the FBI and the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives soon joined the investigation. A large area outside the center was taped off as investigators, including members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force, combed through the grass.

At an early evening news conference, Special Agent in Charge Richard Thornton said an “improvised explosive device” caused the blast, but that investigators still must determine “who and why.”

WCCO CBS Minnesota:

Leaders at the center and the Muslim American Society of Minnesota say a worshiper saw someone throw an explosive device into the building and then speed off in a pick-up truck.

“The Muslim American Society of Minnesota condemns this arson and attack,” Asad Zaman said.

Meanwhile, federal authorities and Bloomington police investigate what led up to the explosion.

Within hours of the explosion, an outpouring of support from neighbors and community members of all religious backgrounds.

And since we have stochastic in the title, we might as well go for broke. Take it away WCCO CBS Minnesota!

 A bomb squad was called to the Cathedral of St. Paul Saturday afternoon after someone starting lighting papers on fire inside the building.

St. Paul police say a homeless man walked into the cathedral and started setting the fires, which were extinguished by bystanders.

The man was said to be carrying a brown paper bag containing a Bible and a Quran tied together, which at first was thought to possibly be an explosive device – but no such device was found.

The man was arrested for disorderly conduct.

Stay frosty!



Late Night Open Thread: Ross Doubthat Longs for a Little Tidy White-Bread Sharia Law

“President Pence”, he murmurs to himself, and would slip a hand down his pants if he didn’t believe that sort of thing leads to blindness and hairy palms…


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He’s not calling for an Inquisition, for pete’s sake! He just wants all the gore and dirty talk firmly removed from the public arena!

(Ref: God had His men leading the charge for righteousness.”)

If Erick Erickson is the HOA director of the GOP’s gated community, Ross Douthat is the pastor of the neighborhood’s “nondenominational” megachurch.

And if I thought they were capable of it, I’d say the suits doing the hiring at the NYTimes should be ashamed of themselves for encouraging him.



Open Thread: Spare A Thought for Mr. Pence

Maybe Mike Dense really is as dumb as he’s famously supposed to be! Maybe he’s just a loyal GOP footsoldier willing to repeat whatever pieties he’s fed… so long as he’s free to commit Bad Touches on innocent NASA equipment and any social legislation postdating the 1860s…



Auschwitz: The GOP Does Not Understand This “Shame” of Which We Speak

No matter how low you’ve seen them go, the Repubs can always find new depths!

I’m not embedding the video, but you can see it at Esquire, if you must. Their rebuttal:

The horrors at Auschwitz were perpetrated by a government, not a terrorist organization. It was not some outside force acting on Germany: Adolf Hitler rose to power with the assent of the German people, and his crimes were possible—and, technically, legal—because he generally enjoyed the consent of a large segment of the population. The problem with Nazi Germany was not military weakness. It was the ideological depravity of a government run on a toxic brand of right-wing nationalism that demonized foreigners and multiple subgroups within German society—but most prominently, and terribly, Jewish people.

The last time Higgins made national headlines, it was when, in a Facebook post addressed to “all of Christendom” after a terror attack in London, he had a suggestion for how to treat every “radicalized Islamic suspect.”

“For the sake of all that is good and righteous,” he wrote, “kill them all.”…


Read more



Open Thread: Blessed Eid!

To our Muslim readers: My timing may be shaky, but my best wishes are sincere!

Eid al-Fitr: Saudi Arabia declares Sunday first day

When is Eid al-Fitr, and why do Muslims celebrate it?

ETA: Apologies for the earlier draft posting — too much IRL stuff going on!

ETAA: Happy birthday-approximation, Red Dirt Girl!








Late Night Open Thread — Christ: What An A**hole

Maybe Erick Infinite Ericks is just envious of the “Dumbest Man on the Internet” title. At least he took the ‘studying for my preacher license’ line out of his bio, because it seems like he’s never actually read the New Testament. Where’s a [Jesus: facepalm] GIF when you need one?…



We Must Take Strong Measures to Protect our Nation…

To slightly modify the President’s remarks at this year’s State of the Union address we must take strong measures to protect our Nation from radical Islamic white Christian terrorism!

To go further, and to once again slightly modify his remarks from the October 9th, 2016 presidential debate, the President’s wisdom and counsel are important in these dark times.

Whether we like it or not, and we can be very politically correct, but whether we like it or not there is a problem. And we have to be sure that when Muslims white Christians come in and report when they see something going on. When they see hatred going on they have to report it. But as an example in San Bernardino Portland many people saw the bombs all over the apartment of the two people that killed 14 and wounded many, many peoplethreats on social media and the multiple arrests and convictions for violent felonies of the one man who killed two and wounded a third, horribly wounded he’ll never be the same. Muslims White Christians have to report the problems when they see them. And, you know, there’s always a reason for everything. If they don’t do that it’s a very difficult situation for our country. Because you look at Orlando and you look at San Bernardino and you look at the World Trade Center the University of Maryland bus stop attack and you look at Mother Emmanuel Church and you look at the Murrah Federal Building and you go outside and look at Paris Quebec City look at that horrible, these are radical Islamic white Christian terrorists. And she I won’t even mention the word. Nor will President Obama Vice President Pence. He They won’t use the term radical Islamic white Christian terrorism. Now to solve a problem you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least state the name. She I won’t say the name. President Obama Vice President Pence won’t say the name, but the name is there. It’s radical Islamic white Christian terror. And before you solve it, you have to say the name.

An April 2017 Government Accountability Office report states:

of the 85 violent extremist incidents that resulted in death since September 12, 2001, far-rightwing violent extremist groups were responsible for 62 (73%) while radical Islamist violent extremists were responsible for 23 (27%).

It is incumbent on our white Christian leaders, like Vice President Pence, Senator Cruz, Governor Huckabee, Reverend Jerry Fallwell, Jr,  Reverend Franklin Graham, Reverend Pat Robertson, and many, many others to speak out and condemn these horrific acts. And it is incumbent on our white Christian neighbors that if they see something, they must alert the government and say something!

Across the nation, we’re all part of communities. In cities, on farms, and in the suburbs, we share everyday moments with our neighbors, colleagues, family, and friends. It’s easy to take for granted the routine moments in our every day—going to work or school, the grocery store or the gas station. But your every day is different than your neighbor’s—filled with the moments that make it uniquely yours. So if you see something you know shouldn’t be there—or someone’s behavior that doesn’t seem quite right—say something. Because only you know what’s supposed to be in your everyday. Informed, alert communities play a critical role in keeping our nation safe. “If You See Something, Say Something™” engages the public in protecting our homeland through awareness–building, partnerships, and other outreach.

ETA: Just in case anyone missed it, this is intended to demonstrate, through slightly altering the President’s own words, just how silly making these absolutist assessments are. They have actually no strategic utility n terms of solving the problems we’re faced with.