Good to know that the bloke involved in that van explosion in Canberra outside the offices of the Australian Christian Lobby is in a stable condition. (Of course it's a relief that no one inside the building was hurt either.)
Gotta say I'm curious about this guy's identity and motivations. Initial reports pointed to an intentional act, not some bizarre accident:
ACT police confirmed a 35-year-old Canberra man had ignited gas cylinders in the van and caused an explosion, which damaged the vehicle and building.
So this guy -- for ease, I'll refer to him as “Mr Van Splodey” from now on -- seems to have been the event's only perp and victim.
What the plods said after the event seemed odd to me:
In a statement, police said their brief questioning of the man revealed his actions "were not politically, religiously or ideologically motivated".
So they just had a quick chat (over tea and bickies, I assume). And it sounds very much like ruling out terrorism was very high on their list of priorities -- if not at the top of it.
You can understand why, of course. People are worried about this at the best of times. Now the fear is particularly intense because ISIS has put out a hit list of churches in America, and 12 people were crushed to death by a bloody great truck in the Berlin Christmas Market. Most recently, an attack planned for Christmas Day in Melbourne was thwarted by Victorian coppers. (Even if this was not widely known at the time of this incident in Canberra I suspect the local constabulary had knowledge of it.)
So, with these concerns top of mind, it seems the cops just asked Van Splodey straight up if this was his intention and he said no.
And they went: “Thank fuck for that!”
They promptly told the press who -- keenly aware of their responsibility to not inflame that terrible Islamophobic “racism” that lies in the dark hearts of Australia's Great Unwashed and Unenlightened -- duly reported that a terrorist motive had been “ruled out”.
That's what makes it all seem so strange to me. Hell, they emphatically say why he didn't do something, because he, er, told them. So why not just ask him why he did do it, then tell us (and say “case closed”)? The nation is dying to know, I'm sure …
Anyhoo, aren't they usually much more circumspect in the wake of such events? Isn't finding out why people do, and don't, commit violent acts (even if only the perp is harmed) a long, involved process carried out by detectives with lots of fancy CSI equipment, then concluded after much debate in court?
BTW, in saying that I'm not implying that Mr Van Splodey will likely turn out to be one of the, er, “usual suspects”. The fact that he staggered several kilometres to a hospital throws doubt on that theory IMO. You'd assume most ISIS goons would have topped 'emselves, or immediately gone into hiding. So, perhaps he's of a more secular persuasion.
But does it not seem likely that he was trying to do harm (even of a purely emotional kind) to other people, as well as himself? Given the location, the date (just before Christmas), and the fact that the Australian Christian Lobby has received numerous death threats over the years, it's not paranoid to conclude the act was meant to terrorize those inside. (Yes, this view may ultimately turn out to be wrong. But it's understandable, and definitely not paranoid. That's my point.)
Needless to say, that's not what the Twitter trollective reckoned. Got some of the reaction a few days back in the immediate aftermath of the explosion.
SJW after SJW got stuck into Lyle Shelton in a really vicious way. The predominant line was that he was a bigot who was jumping to conclusions. But that's what they were doing!
And imagine their reaction if a van had burst into flames outside a Greens office?
Also, so funny that they were taking the police statement as holy writ. Usually they see them as lying, fascist pigs.
Now, a few days on, the social media consensus seems to be that it was a tragic suicide attempt that just happened to occur outside the ACL offices.
Clear why such a simplistic interpretation has such strong appeal to the child-brained Left. Still makes Shelton the ogre, and offers a nice opportunity for some tilty Twitter virtue signalling about mental health issues.
Don't think I'm alone in saying that I find their reaction much more irrational, and ultimately unedifying, than Shelton's.