Mother dis­putes Trump’s claim fa­tal at­tack was mo­ti­vated by ter­ror

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

The mother of a back­packer slain in an Aus­tralian hos­tel wrote an open letter to U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump, re­ject­ing the de­ci­sion to la­bel her daugh­ter’s death as a “ter­ror at­tack.”

The slay­ings of Mia Aylif­feChung, 20, and fel­low Bri­ton Tom Jack­son, 30, were on a list of 78 at­tacks the White House says were “ex­e­cuted or in­spired by” the Is­lamic State ter­ror group — and un­der-re­ported by the me­dia.

Rosie Ayliffe says the pos­si­bil­ity of ter­ror­ism was dis­counted early in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

“My daugh­ter’s death will not be used to fur­ther this in­sane per­se­cu­tion of in­no­cent peo­ple,” she wrote.

Po­lice in Aus­tralia al­lege that sus­pect Smail Ayad shouted “Al­lahu ak­bar” — an Ara­bic phrase mean­ing “God is great” — dur­ing the at­tack, but said there was no in­di­ca­tion the as­sault was mo­ti­vated by ex­trem­ism. They have said they are in­ves­ti­gat­ing whether Ayad had a ro­man­tic ob­ses­sion with Ayliffe-Chung.

The at­tack took place in front of dozens of back­pack­ers at a hos­tel in north­ern Queens­land. Aylif­feChung was found dead at the scene. Jack­son tried to stop the at­tack and was fa­tally wounded.

“This vil­i­fi­ca­tion of whole na­tion states and their peo­ple based on re­li­gion is a ter­ri­fy­ing re­minder of the hor­ror that can en­sue when we al­low our­selves to be led by ig­no­rant peo­ple into dark­ness and ha­tred,” Ayliffe wrote.

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