California synagogue shootings: Trump says anti-Semitism, hate must be defeated

Washington: United States President Donald Trump on Saturday expressed his heartfelt condolences for victims of the California synagogue shootings and urged for the defeat of hatred and anti-semitic sentiments.

Speaking on the shootings, while addressing a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin, CNN quoted the President as saying, “Tonight, America’s heart is with the victims of the horrific synagogue shooting.”

He added that the entire nation stands in solidarity with the Jewish community.

“Sincerest THANK YOU to our great Border Patrol Agent who stopped the shooter at the Synagogue in Poway, California. He may have been off duty but his talents for Law Enforcement weren’t!” Trump tweeted.

Meanwhile, San Diego Sheriff Bill Gore told reporters that the suspect in the accident has been identified as 19-year-old John Earnest.

Gore was quoted as saying that the law enforcement authorities are aware of a “manifesto” that Earnest wrote and posted on Twitter shortly before the attack, and are currently reviewing the document.

The Jerusalem Post reported that the manifesto included several far-right catchphrases, including descriptions of an “international Jewry” which is responsible for countless age-old blood libels, including the murder of Christ and alleged control over the media and the economy.

Within the post, he wrote, “Every Jew young and old has contributed to these. For these crimes they deserve nothing but hell. I will send them there.”

He also said that he hoped to inspire others to commit similar crimes to his and that he expected to be freed from prison and “continue the fight.”

The manifesto was full of religious imagery. Earnest repeated throughout it that he was carrying out the attack to be a good Christian, saying “My God understands why I did what I did” and quoted multiple verses from the New Testament as “proof.”

At least one woman lost her life and three other suffered serious injuries in the attack conducted at synagogue while the worshippers were reading prayers.

Earnest’s manifesto was written in a similar fashion to the manifesto of the Christchurch attack suspect Brenton Tarrant.

However, Gore further noted that officials are looking at the possibility whether Earnest was associated with an arson attack at a mosque in Escondido, 30 miles northeast of downtown San Diego, last month.

On March 24, the Escondido mosque was set on fire while several people were reading prayers inside. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, no injuries were reported but the exterior of the building was severely damaged.