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Tag: religion

ATF Investigating Rash of Fires Targeting Jehovah’s Witness Centers in Washington State

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

The ATF is investigating a rash of suspicious fires targeting Jehovah’s Witness worship centers in Washington State.

A predawn fire on Friday was the fifth suspected arson in Thurston County in the past nine months. The fire destroyed the kingdom hall, and the ATF said it was intentionally set.

No arrests have been made. Surveillance video captured one person, who was wearing a hoodie and coveralls, setting fire to the side of a hall.

Authorities aren’t sure if that’s the only culprit, and the motive remains elusive.

“Why is this specific religion being targeted?” Thurston County Sheriff John Snaza told KOMO, the ABC affiliate in Seattle. “Why are these churches being targeted? What are they doing that is so wrong and oppressive?”

ATF Investigates Rash of Arsons at Black Churches Near Ferguson

ATF LogoBy Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

ATF investigators are searching for a suspect they believe is responsible for setting six black churches on fire near Ferguson, the New York Daily News reports. 

The arsons began on Oct. 8, with the most recent occurring this weekend.

ATF stopped short of saying the motive was racial or religious.

“We believe this fire-setting activity is meant to send a message,” ATF spokesperson John Ham wrote in a statement announcing a $2,000 reward Tuesday. “We believe this activity may be the result of stress experienced in the subject’s life.”

No one was inside the churches when they were set afire.

“This is a spiritually sick person,” Rev. David Triggs, a pastor with the New Life Missionary, said.

Other Stories of Interest

FBI to Determine Whether Religious Hatred Motivated Shooting of 3 Muslims

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is investigating the killings of three Muslims to determine whether religious or ethnic hatred motivated the shooting in North Carolina, WCNC-TV reports.

The case remains under investigation by Chapel Hill police.

The bureau said it “opened a parallel preliminary inquiry to determine whether any federal laws were violated.”

So far, officials said there’s no evidence that the killings were fueled by a religious or ethnic hatred.

Chapel Hill police said the killings appear to have been motivated by a dispute over parking at an apartment complex where the suspect and victims lived .

Justice Department Wants to End Profiling Based Ethnicity, Religion, Sexual Orientation

By Steve Neavling

tickethewire.com

The days of profiling may be over for federal law enforcement, according to a report obtained by the Washington Post.

The ban on profiling would apply to people based on their ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation.

One impact of the policy, for example, would be prohibiting surveillance of mosques without proof of wrongdoing.

No exemption will be given for national security investigations either, the Post reports.

Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. said his upcoming retirement from the position won’t stop him from pursuing this.

“There remains a great deal to be done,” he said. “I have no intention of letting up or slowing down.”

Justice Department to Dramatically Expand Rules Aimed at Profiling by Federal Agents

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder Jr.

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

In a move to address decades of concerns about the protection of civil rights, the Justice Department plans to expand its definition of racial profiling to alleviate discrimination by religion, nationality, gender and sexual orientation, the New York Times reports.

Although the Bush administration banned racial profiling in 2003, it provided exclusions for national security cases and Latinos for immigration probes.

Attorney General Eric Holder wants that to change, the Times wrote.

“Putting an end to this practice not only comports with the Constitution, it would put real teeth to the F.B.I.’s claims that it wants better relationships with religious minorities,” said Hina Shamsi, a national security lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union.

It’s unclear when the new rules will go into effect.

NY Muslim Groups Resist Cooperating With Police

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

After all the efforts by law enforcement to forge a lasting cooperation — particularly in the post-9/11 era —  some in the Muslim community in America remain skeptical.

The Associated Press reports  Muslim groups in New York are discouraging people from going to the New York police with concerns about terrorism, and are teaching members how to identify informants.

The distrust grows from allegations that the NYPD has spied on Muslim groups in many different ways, the AP reported.

The distrust goes far beyond NY. One national Muslim organization in California put a poster on its website warning Muslims not to talk to the FBI, thought the poster was later gotten rid of.

To read more click here.

FBI Report Says Hate Crime Rate Held Steady in 2010

By Danny Fenster
ticklethewire.com

Hate crimes held steady in 2010, new FBI stats show, with 6,628 hate crime incidents reported for the year. That figure was slightly up from the 6,604 in 2009.

Almost half of all incidents were motivated by racial bias, according to the FBI report released Monday. Roughly 20 percent of the incidences were motivated by bias towards religious orientation and 19.3 percent because of sexual orientation.

Almost 60 percent of offenders were white, compared to the 18.4 overall black offenders.

Most incidents–31.4 percent–occurred in or near homes, while 17 percent took place on highways, roads, alleys and streets. Almost 11 percent occurred at schools or colleges.

To read more click here.