New Reports on Armanious - Garas Killings

The New York Post reports that a "bloody vendetta" pre-dating the family's immigration to the United States may have led to the murders of Hossam Armanious, Amal Garas, and their two daughters in New Jersey, in this article. "We're trying to develop their history right now," Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said yesterday of the brutal quadruple slaying. Read the whole article at the link.

"Nothing indicates" that religion was the prime motive, DeFazio says in this article at NorthJersey.com.
Shortly after the bound and gagged bodies were found on |Jan. 14, friends of the family circulated word that Armanious had angered Muslims with Internet postings in a religious chat room.

The claims resulted in widespread tension between Christians and Muslims in Jersey City, which led to numerous scuffles at the family's funeral. But authorities said nothing so far supports the theory.

"Is it possible? Yes," DeFazio said. "Do we have anything that gives us reason to believe this is what it was, factually? No. Nothing indicates that was the prime motivation for this. That we can clearly say."

This appears to be a significant development. DeFazio is now saying that "nothing indicates" a religious hate crime, which is different from the "no proof" line the big media have been giving us all along.
DeFazio said no motive has been established in the case.

In addition to the Internet theory, investigators continue to look at robbery as a possible motive, because the home was ransacked and money was taken from the victims. Detectives are reviewing the family's finances to see if there are any obvious motives.

Hudson authorities have enlisted the FBI to scrutinize the family's activities in Egypt before they came to this country in 1997.

"It could be that it's a vendetta that might go back to the old country," DeFazio said. "We're going to try to look into that."

Update: 1/26, 6AM Pacific:

Michaelangelo Conte of the Jersey Journal gives a good roundup of developments in this Wednesday article at NJ.com. DeFazio, quoted in the article:
"We have more work to do, including on the computer angle, the financial profile and history of the family, including any information on the family or associated people in Egypt. All of that is being done, but it's taking time."

Joseph Farah speaks out in a column carried by Assyrian International News Agency and WorldNetDaily:
Yet, the media's focus hasn't been the horror of this kind of centuries-old anti-Christian persecution apparently coming to America. Instead, there has been a concerted effort, it seems, to downplay this gruesome slaughter as some kind of anomaly, to search desperately for motives other than religious hatred -- in effect, to ignore the kind of oppression that Christians and Jews in the Middle East have been experiencing since Islam became dominant in that part of the world more than 1,300 years ago.

I don't like it.

As an Arab-American, Christian journalist, it reminds me of the way law enforcement officials and the news media discarded any evidence that the Washington-area "Beltway snipers" had an Islamic terrorist motive. This mindset almost certainly resulted in more deaths as vital information -- the kind of descriptions that ultimately led to the capture of John Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo -- was withheld from the public to avoid "hysteria," "panic" and, worst of all, "racial or ethnic profiling."

Let me add a strong second to Farah's comments. I disagree with the headline "Jihad in Jersey City" simply because we do not yet know for a fact that "jihad" was involved - a point I have continually stressed here at Dreams Into Lightning. We do, however, have evidence that allows us to entertain that as a plausible theory - and we have a Big Media that wants to steer us away from that theory by withholding relevant facts (as CNN and NYT ignored reports of death threats against Armanious).

I don't like it either.

Note to readers. As promised, I will continue to follow this case. Some of you will recall that I'm in light-posting mode this week (due to an exam this Thursday), so coverage may not be as prompt or as thorough as I'd like, but I will post as much as I can. If you become aware of any new developments, please send a link. I'll post my own thoughts on this when time permits.