I followed the news coming from Colleyville Texas on 1/15/22. Short story was that a gunman entered a synagogue, took hostages, matched his skills with the FBI HRT team and came up on the short end. Hostages rescued. Attacker dead.
The motive appears to be (at least in part) that the attacker claimed to be the (or “a”) brother of Aafia Siddiqui. Siddiqui was the first female Islamic terrorist arrested after 9/11, now serving a multi-year sentence in Federal prison. While the Colleyville attacker could be a blood relative, many extremists consider Siddiqui as their sister wrongly accused.
I recalled what I wrote in my own book (Evil Invades Sanctuary).
Threats are endless and unpredictable, as are their triggers (reasons for the attacks).
Some motives are more comprehensible than others …, but all can be considered an unpredictable array of possibilities of emergency situations affecting ministries. To be aware of the unpredictable nature of a criminal is to be better prepared to protect people and property.
In addition to differences of perception and interpretation concerning why, is the fact that not all criminals tell the truth (imagine that). So what we have to work with as we consider explanations of why, is a journey through opinions, excuses, legal discoveries (often spun by attorneys driven more by case success than a quest for truth), and other forms of smoke. The reasons are informative, sometimes based on conjecture, and almost amusing at times as we consider the limitless range of why someone carried out an evil act.
What may not appear as reasonable cause for a given action to you may be entirely defensible to someone with a criminal disposition (or true insanity).
Think About It
How can you determine when someone walks through the door of your facility where their mind is at? How do you know who or what may have set them off? It may not have anything to do with your place as the source of the retaliation. Often an offense simply came from an obscure church member or stranger. Ministry leadership was often not aware of, nor did they have any control or influence over the situation until it exploded under their roof or in their parking lot.
Regardless of the real reasons why, the Colleyville situation is a good reminder to be ready.