Was last week’s massacre at Umpqua Community College in Oregon a failed attempt to assassinate a Christian American hero for thwarting a Muslim terrorist train attack this summer in France?
There may simply be a series of unlikely coincidences at play, or there may be circumstantial evidence suggesting that anti-jihadist hero Alek Skarlatos was an intended target of Chris Harper-Mercer, who put several Christians to death in an Umpqua classroom on Thursday, Oct. 1 for being Christian.
Read on and decide for yourself if Harper-Mercer may have wanted to make an example of Skarlatos for the world to see.
And although no evidence revealed thus far directly indicates Harper-Mercer was influenced by Islamic State, plenty of evidence suggests the shooter was acting in furtherance of the Islamic goal of global jihad. Maybe the massacre was intended as a kind of jihadist payback hit.
Islamic State (a.k.a. ISIS, ISIL, and Daesh) apparently claimed responsibility on Twitter for the killings Harper-Mercer carried out at Umpqua. The tweet states, “Again #Oregon #USA #WashingtonDC #IslamicState #ISIS #USA[,]” and displays a graphic with the words “Slay Americans” in front of an image of a man in the process of being beheaded.
In August the very high-profile Skarlatos, a devout Christian, helped to disarm Ayoub El-Khazzani, a Moroccan with ties to radical Islam, on a high-speed train traveling from Amsterdam to Paris. The Islamist was armed with a Kalashnikov rifle, a Luger pistol, and a box cutter. Skarlatos and his two American friends traveling with him received France’s highest honor, the Legion d’Honneur, from French President François Hollande. Last month they were feted at the White House and the Pentagon. Skarlatos received the U.S. Army’s Soldier’s Medal.
Skarlatos has publicly acknowledged that he is currently a student at Umpqua, near Roseburg, Ore., and that he was supposed to be attending classes there on Thursday when Harper-Mercer went on a bloody rampage.
More specifically, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be present that day in Snyder Hall, the same building where Harper-Mercer carried out his massacre.
As USA Today reports
In a taped interview with Ellen DeGeneres on Thursday, Skarlatos said he was supposed to be in the building where Thursday’s shooting took place.
“I had classes in Snyder Hall,” said Skarlatos. “It’s a fairly small community college, the town in general, everybody knows each other. So with that many deceased, I mean everybody’s going to know at least one person.” […]
“I would have been there today if I didn’t agree to do this show,” he said. “I had classes picked out and everything.”
As a famous American and Christian who prevented what could have been a high-casualty terrorist attack in France — one of the few Western nations that over the objections of President Obama is actually trying to do something about the Islamist peril — Skarlatos would have been an attractive target for Islamists.
Because America and much of the world holds Skarlatos up as a symbol of heroic Western resolve to defeat Islamism, those who support Muslim expansionism view him as an enemy. There are very few people on the planet who would be a more valuable target than Skarlatos.
Islamists aren’t exactly known for forgiving and forgetting. A British supporter of Islamic State reportedly published the name and address of the U.S. Navy SEAL soldier who is credited with killing al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden. The Islamist identified the serviceman as “a number one target to eventually hunt down and kill.”
Islamists view not only Skarlatos, but also his two childhood friends who helped to foil the train attack, as enemies. The three young men have been widely identified in news reports as fervent Christians. Skarlatos attended “an independent Christian middle school,” the Sacramento Bee reported.
Over the years the three friends have stayed in touch, united by longtime bonds and their shared religious faith, Alek’s brother Peter Skarlatos said. “They’re all Christians. They’re all very religious.”
Which brings us to Harper-Mercer, 26 (his age was initially reported as 20) who killed 10 people and wounded seven at Umpqua Community College last Thursday before being killed by police. Witnesses said that Harper-Mercer wore body armor and entered a classroom where an English and writing class was being conducted. He demanded that those present say if they were Christian.
Those who said yes were fatally shot in the head. He reportedly said “because you’re a Christian, you’re going to see God in just about one second.” Those who said no or refused to answer were shot in the legs. No news reports indicate anyone in Snyder Hall identified himself or herself as Muslim.
Singling out Christian hostages for death is the same modus operandi used by Islamic terrorist groups like al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab.
As Raymond Ibrahim reports at Jihad Watch, Al Shabaab did the same thing as Harper-Mercer did when it attacked a school in Kenya:
For the record, there is a precedent here: Whenever Islamic terrorists raid large centers where Muslims and Christians are intermingled, they routinely separate Muslims from Christians, before massacring the latter.
For example, last April in Kenya, gunmen from the Somali Islamic group, Al Shabaab—“the youth”—stormed Garissa University, singled out Christian students, and murdered them, some beheaded.
Al Shabaab “has a long history of singling Christians out from among Muslims for slaughter,” according to Ibrahim. He provides four other recent examples from Kenya:
June 15, 2014: Approximately 50 militants from Al Shabaab went on a killing spree in Mpeketoni, a predominantly Christian town on Kenya’s coast. They chanted “Allahu Akbar,” killed whoever could not recite verses from the Koran, and went door-to-door asking residents their religion, killing those who answered “Christian.” More than 57 people were killed, including six children of church pastors.
August 24, 2014: Al Shabaab abducted a group of traders near the island of Lamu. The militants eventually released three of them, because they were Muslims, but beheaded the fourth, a Christian.
November 22, 2014: Al Shabaab attacked a bus and massacred 28 of its Christian passengers. Again, Muslim passengers were separated and left unharmed.
December 2, 2014: Al Shabaab gunmen launched an early morning raid on quarry workers sleeping in their worksite tents near the city of Mandera, along the Somali border. Christians and Muslims were separated before the Christians, thirty-six of them, were beheaded or shot dead.
Harper-Mercer has been identified in news reports as emotionally disturbed and as anti-organized religion or an atheist.
But unlike double-murderer Vester Lee Flanagan II (a.k.a. Bryce Williams), the gay, black, Black Lives Matter-supporting, and Obama-supporting registered Democrat who shot two white former TV colleagues to death on live television, Harper-Mercer didn’t leave an elaborate social media trail behind. (Harper-Mercer did reportedly write online about Flanagan, building him up as a role model. “A man who was known by no one, is now known by everyone … Seems the more people you kill, the more your’re [sic] in the limelight.)… Keep reading