Another Violent Immigrant Claims Insanity
May 15, 2008, 03:16 AM
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In August 2006, Omeed Aziz Popal, a Muslim born in Afghanistan, purposely ran down more than a dozen people in San Francisco after killing Stephen Jay Wilson in Fremont by the same means. Another victim, Susan Rajic, then a 43-year-old massage therapist, may be a quadriplegic for the rest of her life.

See my report from 2006, SUV Jihad in San Francisco?

Naturally, he is pleading insanity rather than jihad. But in a KTVU television segment shortly after the rampage was stopped, a witness reportedly said the driver (Popal) called himself a "terrorist."

A 31-year-old Fremont man accused running down and trying to kill pedestrians in San Francisco entered a plea today of not guilty by reason of insanity to 35 felony counts.

Omeed Aziz Popal is accused of 16 counts of attempted murder, 16 assault charges and other crimes stemming from the attack Aug. 29, 2006, in which people were run down in at least 11 spots from the Tenderloin to Laurel Heights.

Prosecutors have argued that Popal drove around the city seeking out victims, even circling the block to return to "kill zones" by aiming his Honda Pilot at people prone in the street from his first try. [Hit-run rampage suspect enters insanity plea, San Francisco Chronicle, May 13, 2008]

I find it odd that Popal drove from Fremont to San Francisco (a 33-mile trip that includes crossing the 8.4-mile Bay Bridge and would take at least 40 minutes midday traffic) in order to kill random people when he was closer to the larger San Jose (population around 974,000). More curious is how his route within the city brought him close to the two synagogues on California Street. One victim was a block away from the synagogue located at the corner of Webster (see map). When Popal reached the Jewish Community Center near Presidio, he ran down two people on the sidewalk.

Did Popal travel to San Francisco to kill Jews? Maybe. Or was his Muslim sensitivity offended by San Franciscans' famously edgy lifestyles enough to make that city his target? Also possible. And given the political correctness of the "justice" system, we'll probably never know for sure.