San Fran hit and run: Old-fashioned crazy, not jihad crazy

posted at 10:56 am on August 31, 2006 by Allahpundit

Yeah, looks like number 3. Although the hunt for the mysterious green van continues.

Paranoid schizophrenic, hospitalized at least twice over the past few months for nervous breakdowns. He called the police last month and confessed to murdering someone — except it wasn’t true. His parents allegedly are near-pathological control freaks who refused to let him return to Afghanistan to be with his new wife. The rampage supposedly began after yet another argument with his mother about that.

Lot of bad ingredients in that soup.

I’ve got to give you guys something to play with, though, so here you go. From the Mercury-Register article:

Nekrawesh [his cousin] said the family mentioned that they had considered taking Popal to a religious person for help.

“I strongly feel the whole family … (has) been isolated from society.”

“The parents think this is an evil society, so they try to overprotect their kids. At lunchtime at the school, someone was there with the kids — they tried to keep them away from other kids.”…

Popal’s father was religious but in no way extremist, Nekrawesh said. He added that the family’s parenting style was “a personal issue, not a cultural issue.”

And from the Mercury News:

The father attended some political and religious community events in Fremont, Nekrawesh said, but the family generally stuck to themselves.

Run with it! Work in the green van and you might win a Hot Air t-shirt!

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Not sure if anyone read my first Omeed post, but I noted something interesting that I dug up about his repeatedly quoted cousin Hamid Nekrawesh. From his own, personally written bio on a page I dug up:

In search of some good night sleeps, my wife and I are always involved in some sort of community services. She volunteers for senior immigrants; help them with their housing, disability benefits, doctor appointments, and other daily transactions. We also volunteer for battered woman and children, some political campaigns such as Pete Stark, Barbara Boxer, Diane Feinstein, and some local politician friends.

Now we’re getting somewhere!

RightWinged on August 31, 2006 at 11:05 AM

The blogosphere sometimes seems to foster an almost a herd-like mentality on breaking news (like the intial reporting of this incident on Tuesday, and follow-up stories yesterday) and what it ‘almost surely means.’

You were one of the few bloggers who, when this story broke, urged caution on jumping to conclusions too soon. Sound advice, especially considering the recent development you just referenced.

SisterToldjah on August 31, 2006 at 11:09 AM

He called the police last month and confessed to murdering someone — except it wasn’t true.

Yeah, but did he say anything about firing on a Reuters vehicle? The green one perhaps?

On another note, how screwed up is your life when moving to Afghanistan looks that appealing? Those are some serious mother issues.

Pablo on August 31, 2006 at 11:13 AM

Sooooo…no poop eating Allah?

BirdEye on August 31, 2006 at 11:24 AM

Nope. Whew!

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 11:25 AM

It’s good to be wrong about these things sometimes. Better that than that we have yet another freelance jihadi that the government isn’t being upfront about. Like…the El Al shooter, for instance, where it took more than a year for the government to finally admit that the guy was motivated by the usual Islamonazi nonsense. And I do wonder why people who emigrated to an “evil society” decided to remain here.

But regarding speculating about this story (and others), blogs are made for speculation. Not irresponsible speculation, but speculation that gets behind the headlines and is grounded in recent history and a reasonable reading of the facts as currently understood. If we don’t try to peel back the press and official government statements about things, what’s the point of blogging? Seriously. I certainly didn’t speculate irresponsibly. And if I can’t speculate on a blog at all, I seriously wonder what the whole point is.

Bryan on August 31, 2006 at 11:39 AM

Hooray for old-fashioned crazy.

Do green vans work like green m&m’s? If I’d just gotten married and then had to go back to celibacy for a year, I might run over a few people, too.

Tanya on August 31, 2006 at 11:43 AM

Seriously. I certainly didn’t speculate irresponsibly.

I’m not accusing you of having done so. The green-van stuff is aimed more at the Reuters van skeptics than anyone else.

I do think all of us, including me, should be a little more skeptical about hints of terrorism, though. I got burned four times in the past two weeks over diverted flights. Totally understandably, but still — it makes us easy targets when we’re wrong.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 11:47 AM

If we don’t try to peel back the press and official government statements about things, what’s the point of blogging? I certainly didn’t speculate irresponsibly. And if I can’t speculate on a blog at all, I seriously wonder what the whole point is.

Hear hear. It’s not as if blogger speculation hasn’t proved to be a worthwhile effort. If the speculation is foolish, it isn’t going to float. If there’s truth to it, we’ll suss it out. If not, we’ll figure that out. And let’s keep in mind that wondering about something is not the same as proclaiming it to be true. Nobody ever said this had to be pretty, and if we’re not asking the questions, who is?

Pablo on August 31, 2006 at 11:47 AM

Totally understandably, but still — it makes us easy targets when we’re wrong.

If you’re just asking questions, you can’t be wrong. And considering the source of the flack you’ll take for asking, it’s probably not worth worrying about because they’ll misrepresent you anyway. Time after time, they’ll damn their opponents for mere speculation, a lot of which turns out to be correct.

Look at the vile crap thrown at Charles over the last 5 years. How many times have you seen him embrace off the wall conjecture? How often does he get it wrong? You’d think he’s the devil if you listen to his critics, although lately people are starting to wake up and hear the alarm LGF has been sounding since 9/11. Unfortuantely, it just comes with the turf.

Pablo on August 31, 2006 at 11:56 AM

If the speculation is foolish, it isn’t going to float. If there’s truth to it, we’ll suss it out. If not, we’ll figure that out.

But why not wait a day until more facts are out and your speculation is on firmer ground? We had two facts to go on:

1. He killed some people.
2. He was (probably) Muslim.

No evidence of radicalism or political inclinations. Why risk having it blow up in your face and looking like an alarmist when you could just wait for it to shake out a bit?

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 11:57 AM

But regarding speculating about this story (and others), blogs are made for speculation. Not irresponsible speculation, but speculation that gets behind the headlines and is grounded in recent history and a reasonable reading of the facts as currently understood. If we don’t try to peel back the press and official government statements about things, what’s the point of blogging? Seriously. I certainly didn’t speculate irresponsibly. And if I can’t speculate on a blog at all, I seriously wonder what the whole point is.

You’re right that speculating is what blogs were made for. Your point about irresponsible versus responsible speculation is key – I think when speculation turns into premature conclusions as stated by bloggers (and sometimes commenters) almost before the first word is printed on a story and then piling on to it is when the speculation becomes irresponsible, because then, instead of trying to find out all the facts on a story, a blogger will have already have this notion in his or her head as to what the conclusion supposedly is and will set out to prove that by selectively pulling out facts from stories, rather than objectively examining everything on hand and then drawing a thoughtful conclusion based on that. The Nutters are notorious for doing this, and some rightie bloggers have been guilty of it as well (and I include myself in that).

That’s not directed at you specifically, Bryan – just some thoughts I have on the subject of speculation in the blogosphere in general.

SisterToldjah on August 31, 2006 at 12:02 PM

And considering the source of the flack you’ll take for asking, it’s probably not worth worrying about because they’ll misrepresent you anyway.

That’s a convenient justification but it doesn’t really hold up. When a left-wing news source shows some scruples, I notice. To this day I think fondly of Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz for their coverage of Rathergate, and it inclines me to lend more credibly to WaPo than I do to the New York Times.

You build trust with your readers. And if your response to that is, “Well, we trust you no matter what” — that’s bad. I jumped in head first on the Adnan Hajj story because I know a Photoshop when I see one; the chance that I was right substantially outweighed the chance that I was wrong, so I was willing to gamble on the fallout if the latter happened. Did the chance that he was a jihadi substantially outweigh the chance that he wasn’t in the Popal case? I don’t think so, but I guess people can differ.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 12:02 PM

I jumped in head first on the Adnan Hajj story because I know a Photoshop when I see one; the chance that I was right substantially outweighed the chance that I was wrong, so I was willing to gamble on the fallout if the latter happened.

I applaud you for that one no doubt, but why don’t you feel the same way about the Tyler Hicks photo of the dude’s face obviously shopped on to the body of an arab woman in a headscarf. It seems almost as obvious a photoshop as the Hajj jobs, if not more.

As for the trusting no matter what, I think that’s what did your girl KP in with that Rummy piece in the times. The Times is gospel to liberals.

RightWinged on August 31, 2006 at 12:14 PM

So, how close was he to the Jewish community center, or did that not make a difference.

THeDRiFTeR on August 31, 2006 at 12:17 PM

I applaud you for that one no doubt, but why don’t you feel the same way about the Tyler Hicks photo of the dude’s face obviously shopped on to the body of an arab woman in a headscarf. It seems almost as obvious a photoshop as the Hajj jobs, if not more.

Because there’s no obvious explanation for it. To believe that Hicks ‘shopped the guy, you have to believe that he basically did it for shits and giggles. Would someone risk their career on that?

Not everything that looks like a photoshop artifact is a photoshop artifact. But perfectly symmetrical swirly patterns in a cloud of smoke? Taken by an Arab stringer in Lebanon? When there were already accusations of Hezbollah propagandizing going on? For Reuters?

Can’t be a coincidence. And it wasn’t.

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 12:21 PM

I’m still goin’ for #4. Speculating…. It was all a big distraction as the green van was being smuggled and hidden from further inspection. It started with “Shameless Insta-bait? Perhaps.”, I mean when else have you seen so much skin and tight clothing from Beirut? PLUS, The BB vs. missile project was entertaining but losing steam, so additional misdirection was in order. Nothing better than sex and a good ol’ California car chase (slo-mo preferred) to catch the nations attention. BUT, the MSM didnt play along, so here comes Omeed Aziz Popal ( not the original driver, who was James Derbish) inserted at a red light by ‘suspicious looking people’. Poor schmuch lost his TOM TOM though, and took him all afternoon to find the Jewish Center, but that inadvertantly created a longer distraction, allowing for Green Helmet to drive into the sunset with GreenVan, never to be seen again.(green van anyway, we will see green helmet again) All set up by Al Qaeda and GWBush, during lunch.
So it IS terrorism. And Shameless? Thats Pshopped Nancy Velasquez on Hollywood Blvd just doin a little shopping.
Caio…er Chow, Allah.

shooter on August 31, 2006 at 12:26 PM

Nekrawesh [his cousin] said the family mentioned that they had considered taking Popal to a religious person for help.
“I strongly feel the whole family … (has) been isolated from society.”
“The parents think this is an evil society, so they try to overprotect their kids. At lunchtime at the school, someone was there with the kids — they tried to keep them away from other kids.”…
Popal’s father was religious but in no way extremist, Nekrawesh said. He added that the family’s parenting style was “a personal issue, not a cultural issue.”

Okay let’s parse this out:

He was religious but in no way extremist. Yet would make sure someone was at the kids lunch time to keep them away from other kids, “because this society is evil”.

And then he claims this is personal, not cultural, in light of the claims that “because this society is evil” and he isolates his family from society. This very much a “cultural” issue as well as a personal issue.

It seems the son grew up to be just as nutty as his father. Well done, dad.

Lawrence on August 31, 2006 at 12:28 PM

I guess it depends on the definition of a jihadi, Allah. I’m not sure I read anyone speculating that they thought Popal was a connected al Qaeda operative. But are “nut” and “terrorist” mutually exclusive?

Would a phone call from OBL have made the effects of his rampage any different?

If there is an angry, hate-filled culture consistently triggering the tripwires on its least balanced members, we have to perform the calculus to determine how much death we are willing to accept. Knowing Popal’s environment and motivations helps us determine whether there really is such a culture, or if it is the product of paranoia and ignorance. Having the police & mayor shut down “terrorism” fears immediately does nothing to further that understanding.

Michelle has a story about the “assasinate Bush” docudrama up right now. If an unbalanced lefty (and it’s a deep bench) were to go nuts and do just that, would it be wrong to look to the cesspool of leftist hate and assasination pr0n as part of a dangerous culture that helped direct the simmering mental problem of a dangerous killer?

I’m sure the same could be said by the left of the putative “gun culture” of the right, and I think the give and take on gun control legislation over the years shows how incidents of lone wackos “going postal” have influenced the amount of freedoms people are willing to give up to counter a perceived threat.

Of course, with the Islamist threat, there is no breathless coverage– or any coverage at all– lest the Ark of the Multicultural be tarnished. I use my wife as a barometer: she said, “What rampage in SF?”

I understand your desire to not wildly overspeculate, but I think you’re overstating the assertions of most of the people talking about this. It wasn’t about al Qaeda, it was about acting quickly against the media narrative that was being written even as we were posting.

Now, of course, somebody will post a bunch of links to blogs that were saying it was al Qaeda.

a4g on August 31, 2006 at 12:33 PM

There is another reason Hicks might have ‘shopped the guy’s head on (or that someone in the MidEast bureau might have, which would be more likely than Hicks doing it himself): If the original did picture a woman and she wasn’t properly covered according to Islamic dress code. I’m not saying that that’s what happened, just that it’s possible. CAIR certainly gave us grounds for speculating along those lines when it clumsily ‘shopped hoods on several women in a photo of one of its public functions. There are elements within Islam that will go to great, and even ridiculous, lenghts to prevent religious offense. So it’s possible. And I have to say, that fringe around the guy’s head was grounds for speculation.

Much more so than the mic chord shot, anyway.

Bryan on August 31, 2006 at 12:35 PM

There is another reason Hicks might have ’shopped the guy’s head on (or that someone in the MidEast bureau might have, which would be more likely than Hicks doing it himself): If the original did picture a woman and she wasn’t properly covered according to Islamic dress code.

Then why not instead (a) crop her out of the photo; (b) pixelate her face with a note in the caption; (c) photoshop a woman’s head in there?

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 12:40 PM

Sure glad to hear this guy was crazy.

Now I can feel a lot better about 9/11 since those bastards were even crazier.

Perchant on August 31, 2006 at 12:40 PM

AP:

Because there’s no obvious explanation for it. To believe that Hicks ’shopped the guy, you have to believe that he basically did it for shits and giggles. Would someone risk their career on that?

Not everything that looks like a photoshop artifact is a photoshop artifact. But perfectly symmetrical swirly patterns in a cloud of smoke? Taken by an Arab stringer in Lebanon? When there were already accusations of Hezbollah propagandizing going on? For Reuters?

True, and I agree with keeping cautious about it. But I don’t feel that lack of logical reason for a photoshop is a reason to ignore what, to me, seems to be an extremely obvious example. I mean, if it’s not a photoshop, what is all around the guy’s head, and what is up with that weird tan cloth with writing all over it on his her right shoulder. I can respect a difference of opinion, but I just can’t seem to understand anyone not seeing the obvious photoshop, regardless of whether or not it actually serves any real purpose. Not sure if you read my email exchange with someone at the times who actually asked to look at the specific picture, I sent him (and he looked at) the specific picture but wouldn’t even address my specific questions about it, and basically just directed me to their policies and assured me that they wouldn’t allow manipulation of photographs.

Bryan:

If the original did picture a woman and she wasn’t properly covered according to Islamic dress code. I’m not saying that that’s what happened, just that it’s possible. CAIR certainly gave us grounds for speculating along those lines when it clumsily ’shopped hoods on several women in a photo of one of its public functions.

That is one possibility, but again I don’t think the reason is all that important, because I think it’s just so obvious that it was done. I don’t think the original Hajj smokejob served much of a purpose anyway. He had other images of the same neighborhood with much more smoke, and the one he shopped didn’t gain much from what he added, did it?

I’ll be emailing the Times again (and again and again) until I can at least get someone to attempt to explain how that can be a real image. Perhaps take a look at the images again if you haven’t for a while, as if it’s the first time seeing them and see if you feel differently. I just can’t get over the headscarf sticking out all around the back of his head.

RightWinged on August 31, 2006 at 12:53 PM

by the way, I am aware that I’m unhealthily obsessed with that fauxto

RightWinged on August 31, 2006 at 12:58 PM

But why not wait a day until more facts are out and your speculation is on firmer ground?

I agree, and I said as much on the previous thread. That said, we’ve seen this sort of thing go the other way, so wondering about it isn’t out of line.

That’s a convenient justification but it doesn’t really hold up.

I’m not suggesting that it’s justification. Honest curiosity and subsequent digging doesn’t need justification. Knee jerk jumping to conclusions can’t be justified. I’m saying that allowing fear of what our ideological opponents will say to be a stumbling block to pursuit of the facts is pointless. They’ll smear whether you’re right or wrong or indifferent. You speculate, they’ll say you’ve made a proclamation. They do it all the time. Even when you’ve gotten it right, they’ll call you nuts. So, who cares what they say about you? If you’re honest with yourself and your readers, you’ll do just fine. And if fear of being portrayed in a bad light is reason to not act, then let’s just roll up conservatism and hand Soros the keys to America.

To this day I think fondly of Michael Dobbs and Howard Kurtz for their coverage of Rathergate, and it inclines me to lend more credibly to WaPo than I do to the New York Times.

That’s because you’re honest. Not everyone is.

You build trust with your readers. And if your response to that is, “Well, we trust you no matter what” — that’s bad.

Yeah, it is. That’s Eschaton. You don’t have that here, and I hope you never do.

Did the chance that he was a jihadi substantially outweigh the chance that he wasn’t in the Popal case? I don’t think so, but I guess people can differ.

They can, they do and they did. All in all, I think reason prevailed even though reflexive judgement tried to sneak it’s way in. I think the system worked.

Pablo on August 31, 2006 at 1:00 PM

I understand your desire to not wildly overspeculate, but I think you’re overstating the assertions of most of the people talking about this. It wasn’t about al Qaeda, it was about acting quickly against the media narrative that was being written even as we were posting.

Maybe Popal is just crazy, maybe not, but the insanity defense is regularly used by family, friends, and lawyers of perps. John Mohammed, the DC Sniper, was a long-time bad guy who latched on to a cause to excuse his desire to murder. Osama’s call for world-wide and free-lance Jihad gave him permission to act.

We, the public, have been manipulated by the press for so long that many of us are looking for the obvious holes in the story, i.e, religion or race that is not mentioned as a tip off to the “real” story. Maybe this time we were wrong, but somehow, I don’t think “crazy” is the whole story of Popal’s rampage. Will we ever learn the whole story? Probably not. Just like the Oklahoma “suicide” bomber, the FBI takes over,the media moves on and we forget about it. It was highly suspicious, but we may never know the whole story.

Margaret McC on August 31, 2006 at 1:09 PM

May not measure up to “Jihad” by current standards, but he did go out of the way to make it accross town to end up doing his last victims on the sidewalk of the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.

Local News was reporting that he said he was a terrorist. Here’s the clip:http://www.ktvu.com/video/9758766/index.html

Call it what you will, just don’t forget it.

CanaryinaCoalMine on August 31, 2006 at 2:00 PM

Call it what you will, just don’t forget it.

I call it … a coincidence.

Can I forget it now?

Allahpundit on August 31, 2006 at 2:04 PM

AP, I think Islamic extremism WAS behind these murders, just not in the traditional sense. Instead of a muslim man being enticed by virgins to murder people, the muslim man was driven to insanity by the pressures of extremist parents, whose behavior in regard to their son grew directly from their extremist beliefs.

So really, this is still a case where muslim extremism resulted in dead bodies. This is also a situation that highlights the perils of the American failure to assimilate immigrants. When people segregate themselves from society they can start to believe some crazy things. They do not share the same national identity with the rest of American society. They aren’t playing for our team.

kaltes on August 31, 2006 at 3:47 PM

I grew up in Fremont, er… “Freakmont”, aka “Little Afghanistan”. Supposedly has the largest population of Afghanis outside of Afghanistan.

So glad I fled that area.

While working nights as a janitor both in the Silicon valley super hi-tech places and in neighborhoods for summer money, I saw some crazy things.

In kindergarten I remember a dad shouting at my teacher because his son wasn’t allowed to wear his 2 foot sword to school.

Not much to do with this story, just felt like sharing.

NTWR on August 31, 2006 at 4:23 PM

BTW, it takes a good 45 minutes to drive from Fremont to SF, that is, if there’s no traffic (a non-occurence). I’d say he had at least an hour to think about his next move, after running down the Fremont dude.

But, he wasn’t thinking, apparently.

NTWR on August 31, 2006 at 4:35 PM

Well, crazy or not, his culture teaches that killing infidels is a good way to solve one’s problems.

Let’s not buy into the idea that being crazy is also now a good excuse for a jihad of any stripe.

Lawrence on August 31, 2006 at 5:46 PM

Why didn’t he stay in Afghanistan with the wife person until she received her visa (or mastercard)? Maybe without that burqa his prize bride wasn’t all she was cut out to be!! Especially after being in the United States among the most beautiful women in the world.

gary on August 31, 2006 at 6:33 PM

More information on the story:

The First victim.

If he was so crazy, how did he know how to trick his family?

Should his family be held responsible for not keeping him locked up?
Is “crazy” a new excuse for any heinous act?
Where does “craziness” come into play when one is able to navigate some of the most confusing streets and freeways? How many of his victims were Muslim?
Does running down pedestrians as they walk on their merry way constitue “terrorism?”
Does it not “terrorize” people to think they might be run down while walking on the sidewalk?
Will he be tried for anything?

NTWR on August 31, 2006 at 7:03 PM

Well, we might ask if his parents are first cousins.

gary on August 31, 2006 at 7:25 PM

So to escape his ‘control freak parents’ he tries to get the cops to kill him –
Where’s Det. Harry Callahan when you need him?

The speculation by bloggers is good thing. Bloggers will filter down to the truth. The authorities are very quick to label it anything but terror, and they shouldn’t be so quick to eliminate possibilities.

Marvin on August 31, 2006 at 7:29 PM

Well, crazy or not, his culture teaches that killing infidels is a good way to solve one’s problems.

When was the last time anyone heard of a person with marriage problems or any problems running over people on purpose? Why didn’t he run over people in Fremont? Because that’s where his Muslim people live. He drove over to San Fran where the infidels live to kill them. To solve his problems.

He is still guilty of “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”
Guilty of DWI – Driving while Islamic

dennisw on August 31, 2006 at 10:20 PM

When was the last time anyone heard of a person with marriage problems or any problems running over people on purpose? Why didn’t he run over people in Fremont? Because that’s where his Muslim people live. He drove over to San Fran where the infidels live to kill them. To solve his problems.

Interesting point, I hadn’t thought of it like that. I don’t expect the MSM to find the answer to that question, but I’d really like to hear the answer.

RightWinged on September 1, 2006 at 2:16 AM

Some questions:
1. How old is his new bride? 14? Tell the FBI.
2. Was Popol ordered by someone in Afghanistan to commit a US terror attack in order to see his new bride again? (false confession in July, strange behavior since return, etc.)
3. Was Popol’s body shaved?
4. Did Popol leave a martyr’s video/note?

Definition of terrorism:
Muslim (who is obviously a little crazy) kills infidels and takes credit for it.
(Popol said “I am a terrorist”)

Michele, I think you have been hoodwinked.

faraway on September 1, 2006 at 3:09 AM

1. How old is his new bride? 14? Tell the FBI.

She’s clearly not 14.. but she may or may not be the love child of Kirstie Alley and Boy George.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/object/article?f=/c/a/2006/08/31/MNGMGKSMHB1.DTL&o=0

RightWinged on September 1, 2006 at 3:16 AM

Ouch! (hiding my eyes) Scratch No. 1

New point 1. What was this guy doing for the 3 days he was “missing”?

Also, if the parents thought he was so “mentally troubled” and “delusional”, why did they recently find him a bride?

Finally, isn’t the name of his bride, Nahid, a Persian (Iranian) name? Arent most Afghanis Sunni? Is Popal a Shiite?

faraway on September 1, 2006 at 3:57 AM

The parents think this is an evil society, so they try to overprotect their kids.

Eh, I dealt with the same thing, growing up. That’s as much conservative Christian as radical Muslim.

Would a phone call from OBL have made the effects of his rampage any different?

Rhetorical question, perhaps… but no. Of course, the same could be said of any crime. So the real question here is “should we treat it differently?”

Mark Jaquith on September 1, 2006 at 11:13 AM

Don’t let this story die!

Witnesses said the driver of the SUV that hit Wilson appeared to do so intentionally, “without even pausing or applying the brakes,” said Assistant District Attorney Colton Carmine of Alameda County.

Carmine said that although statements by Popal’s relatives could lay the foundation for a defense based on mental illness, “it’s fairly beyond dispute that this person went to two universities in the Bay Area and had a large circle of college-educated friends.

“So this notion that this is a horrible American society is just infuriating to me. All I know is that he took advantage of this society, used the resources we make available and did this horrible thing where, only but the grace of God, there weren’t additional murder victims in San Francisco.”

He’s being held in a psychiatric ward, not jail.

“Everyone needs to be killed,” Omeed Aziz Popal calmly told officers as he sat in the back of a police car after a hit-and-run rampage that left one person dead in Fremont and 19 injured in San Francisco.

Just why the 29-year-old unemployed automotive worker allegedly said that remains a mystery. His family says he is mentally ill.

But his comments, as recorded in police reports filed by three officers who spoke with Popal, suggest a level of planning that may belie claims of mental illness, authorities say.

Read more here.

NTWR on September 1, 2006 at 4:28 PM