Student killed in Alabama in another US school shooting

Huffman High School is seen behind Birmingham Police cars after at a shooting Wednesday, March 7, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP)
Updated 08 March 2018
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Student killed in Alabama in another US school shooting

BIRMINGHAM: Authorities said they are investigating a fatal shooting at an Alabama high school as apparently accidental, lamenting the death of a 17-year-old female student in the incident that also left a 17-year-old boy injured.
Birmingham Interim Police Chief Orlando Wilson said investigators are seeking to piece together the exact circumstances surrounding Wednesday afternoon’s shooting at dismissal time at Huffman High School, one of the city’s largest. He added that the probe will involve scouring school surveillance video for clues and completing interviews among students and staff at the large magnet school.
“At this particular time, we are considering this accidental,” the police chief said at a news conference Wednesday afternoon just hours after the shooting. “Right now we have a lot of unanswered questions.”
The shooting prompted a brief lockdown though students were subsequently released late Wednesday and authorities said they had subsequently determined that the shooting was not perpetrated by “someone from the outside” the school.
Wilson declined to say who fired the gun or to identify what firearm, adding it had been recovered by authorities.
No arrests were immediately reported and the two students weren’t identified.
“We are asking questions from the staff, the students, anyone who was in that area,” Wilson said. “This should not happen in schools.”
He said police have already questioned students but declined to say how many. Wilson did confirm metal detectors were in place and functioning in the school.
Huffman High in northeast Birmingham is one of the largest high schools in the city. The Birmingham City School system said in a statement that the shooting prompted a brief lockdown and added two students were involved as school was letting out. It later said the schools would be open Thursday even as civic leaders and others were mourning the loss of life.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said the deceased student would have turned 18 in about 30 days and was a senior “who had aspirations and dreams to be a nurse.”
“We are not just talking about some person, (we’re) talking about losing a part of our future. Our hearts are heavy,” Woodfin said.
Birmingham City Schools Superintendent Lisa Herring said her goal was to support the family of the teen who died and to reassure parents about the safety of their children.
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey released a statement Wednesday evening that she was saddened by the student’s death.
“I am praying for the family of this young lady who has tragically lost her life way too early ... it reaffirms that there is no place for students to have firearms or other weapons on campus.”
The shooting took place just a day after Ivey created a school safety council in Alabama to make recommendations on security. The security plan would ensure schools have an updated security response plan for sharing information about potential threats. It also would require schools to train students and school employees on how to respond to an emergency situation.
Multiple bills also have been proposed in the Alabama legislature after 17 people were killed last month in a shooting rampage at a Parkland, Florida, high school. Varying proposals by Republicans would arm either teachers or volunteer security forces in schools. Meanwhile, measures sought by Democrats would seek to limit or ban the sale of assault weapons. The proposals face a tight deadline before the end of Alabama’s legislative session this election year.


Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

Updated 25 March 2019
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Preachers of Hate: Arab News launches series to expose hate-mongers from all religions

  • Daesh may be defeated, but the bigoted ideas that fueled their extremism live on
  • Campaign could not be more timely, with a rise in anti-Muslim hate crimes since Christchurch attacks

RIYADH: Dozens of Daesh militants emerged from tunnels to surrender to Kurdish-led forces in eastern Syria on Sunday, a day after their “caliphate” was declared defeated.

Men filed out of the battered Daesh encampment in the riverside village of Baghouz near the Iraqi border to board pickup trucks. “They are fighters who came out of tunnels and surrendered today,” Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) spokesman Jiaker Amed said. “Some others could still be hiding inside.”

World leaders hail Saturday’s capture of the last shred of land controlled by Daesh in Syria, but the top foreign affairs official for the semi-autonomous Kurdish region warned that Daesh captives still posed a threat.

“There are thousands of fighters, children and women and from 54 countries, not including Iraqis and Syrians, who are a serious burden and danger for us and for the international community,” Abdel Karim Omar said. “Numbers increased massively during the last 20 days of the Baghouz operation.”

 While the terrorists have a suffered a defeat, the pernicious ideologies that drive them, and the hate speech that fuels those ideologies, live on. For that reason Arab News today launches Preachers of Hate — a weekly series, published in print and online, in which we profile, contextualize and analyze extremist preachers from all religions, backgrounds and nationalities.


 

In the coming weeks, our subjects will include the Saudi cleric Safar Al-Hawali, the Egyptian preacher Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, the American-Israeli rabbi Meir Kahane, the Yemeni militia leader Abdul Malik Al-Houthi, and the US pastor Terry Jones, among others.

 

The series begins today with an investigation into the background of Brenton Tarrant, the Australian white supremacist who shot dead 50 people in a terrorist attack 10 days ago on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Tarrant is not just a terrorist, but is himself a Preacher of Hate, author of a ranting manifesto that attempts to justify his behavior. How did a shy, quiet boy from rural New South Wales turn into a hate-filled gunman intent on killing Muslims? The answers may surprise you.

Our series could not be more timely — anti-Muslim hate crimes in the UK have soared by almost 600 percent since the Christchurch attack, it was revealed on Sunday.

The charity Tell MAMA (Measuring Anti-Muslim Attacks), which records and measures anti-Muslim incidents, said almost all of the increase comprised “language, symbols or actions linked to the Christchurch attacks.”

“Cases included people making gestures of pointing a pistol at Muslim women and comments about British Muslims and an association with actions taken by the terrorist in New Zealand,” the charity said.

“The spike shows a troubling rise after Muslims were murdered in New Zealand,” said Iman Atta, director of Tell MAMA. “Figures have risen over 590 percent since New Zealand in comparison to the week just before the attack.