Alleged Attacker of Giffords Motivated By Her Judaism

Published: January 9th 2011
in News » World

Jared Lee Loughner

It appears that the man who allegedly shot Arizona Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords – the first Jewish congresswoman from Arizona – in the head, may have been motivated by the fact that she was Jewish.


Giffords, a Democrat in her third term who made her Judaism known, remains in critical condition.


The information surfaced via a U.S. Department of Homeland Security memo which notes that Gabriel Giffords is Jewish when describing the motives of her alleged assailant.


The memo, obtained by Fox News Channel, says that Jared Lee Loughner mentioned American Renaissance, an extremist anti-immigrant group, in some of his own postings.


"The group's ideology is anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti-Semitic," says the memo sent to law enforcement, which also notes that Giffords, a Democrat, was the first Jewish congresswoman from Arizona.


Loughner also reportedly listed "Mein Kampf" and the "Communist Manifesto" as two of his favorite books on his MySpace page. Prior to the shooting he reportedly left a "Goodbye friends" message, which also said "Please don't be mad at me."


Loughner was arrested after Giffords and at least 16 others were shot Saturday at a Tucson shopping mall. Six people were killed.


Giffords, 40, was raised "mixed" by a Christian Scientist mother and Jewish father, but said she decided she was Jewish only following a visit to Israel in 2001. She attended services at a local Reform synagogue.


Giffords' office had been vandalized in March after she voted for health care reform. Friends said she had received threats for her positions on health care and for opposing her state's new law allowing police to arrest undocumented immigrants during routine stops.


The National Jewish Democratic Council suggested that the heated rhetoric of the last year contributed to the climate that led to the attack.


"One suspect, now in custody, may be directly responsible for this crime," the group said in a statement. "But it is fair to say -- in today's political climate, and given today's political rhetoric -- that many have contributed to the building levels of vitriol in our political discourse that have surely contributed to the atmosphere in which this event transpired."

Related articles: (Giffords, Shooting, Jared Lee Loughner, Congress)

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