Two in GOP la­bel S. C. at­tack ter­ror­ism

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Brian Ben­nett brian. ben­nett@ latimes. com Twit­ter: @ ByBri­anBen­nett

WASHINGTON — Two prom­i­nent Repub­li­cans on Sun­day called the Charleston, S. C., shoot­ing in which a 21- year- old white man is ac­cused of killing nine African Amer­i­cans dur­ing a prayer meet­ing an act of do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism.

Rep. Devin Nunes of Cal­i­for­nia, chair­man of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, said on CBS’ “Face the Na­tion” that the shoot­ing “could be do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism when you look at it — clearly it was a hate crime.”

Nunes, of Tu­lare, went on to say that he didn’t know whether fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors would de­cide that the case war­rants ter­ror­ism charges. But “from a lay­man’s point of view,” Nunes said, “I think you easily call it do­mes­tic ter­ror­ism.”

Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Rick San­to­rum, a for­mer U. S. sen­a­tor from Penn­syl­va­nia, said on ABC’s “This Week,” “I don’t think there’s any ques­tion when some­one comes into a church for the rea­sons of racism and hate that they’re try­ing to ter­ror­ize peo­ple.... I don’t think there’s any ques­tion this is an act of ter­ror­ism.”

Civil rights ac­tivists have called for the killings to be in­ves­ti­gated as an act of ter­ror­ism in part be­cause an online man­i­festo linked to the de­fen­dant, Dy­lann Roof, calls for vi­o­lent at­tacks against African Amer­i­cans in the South.

Roof faces nine mur­der charges in the rampage at the Emanuel African Methodist Epis­co­pal Church, one of the old­est black churches in the South.

He spent nearly an hour with the Bi­ble study group be­fore tak­ing out a hand­gun and killing the six women and three men, in­clud­ing the Rev. Cle­menta Pinck­ney, ac­cord­ing to author­i­ties.

When asked whether fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors should bring ter­ror­ism charges against Roof, San­to­rum was non­com­mit­tal.

“Well, fed­eral charges, state charges, there’s cer­tainly plenty of charges here. Whether they’re fed­eral or state charges re­ally doesn’t mat­ter,” he said. “This young man is go­ing to get jus­tice served on him.”

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