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July 10, 2006

Domestic suicide bomber fingered in NYC building collapse

A 66-year-old doctor who lost $4 million bucks in a divorce settlement is being eyed in the gas-fuelled collapse of a Manhattan building.

"When you read this ... your life will change forever," the e-mail read in part. "You deserve it. You will be transformed from gold digger to ash and rubbish digger. You always wanted me to sell the house. I always told you I will leave the house only if I am dead."

The injured included five civilians and 10 firefighters. Bartha was pulled from the rubble after talking with authorities from his phone while buried in the wreckage, Fire Chief Nicholas Scoppetta said. Bartha and one passer-by suffered severe injuries; the others had minor injuries. [AP]

Do the MRA have a new poster boy?

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I work only nine blocks from that location. It was not a fun morning, listening to the sound of sirens and helicopters, wondering if this might have been a terrorist act.

Phantom, I'm very sorry to hear that you were nearby and I'm glad you're okay. If the allegations against the alleged perp bear out, this was a terrorist act.

I remember that when the Columbine students came together after their tragedy of suicide/homicide, one of them led the class in the school cheer, with the school answering back: "We Are! (COLUMBINE!) We Are! (COLUMBINE!)" I worried then that rather than Columbine being an isolated incident, and rather than that cheer being an expression of positivity and a negation of such violence, the rest of us around the country might eventually be forced to join them in that cheer ironically instead, as our hatred for one another, our neglect of one another, our disconnection from one another, leads to more American deaths than the 9/11 atrocities ever could. And how casually we do hate one another. We Are! Columbine.

I hope that the passerby comes through it okay, and isn't too traumatized. And I hope that no-one else, however badly they feel they've been treated, follows this doctor's lead. A doctor. First do no harm.

What a horrible selfish person. If he wanted to kill himself because he was so distraught over losing $4 million and thought it would make his ex suffer, that would have been merely pathetic. But to endanger so many other people is beyond criminal. If I believed in Hell, this is one guy I'd think belonged there.

has it been confirmed that he did it? and that he was trying to kill himself with it?
when i watched the news last night they still seemed a bit up in the air with it because there had been 2 reports of gas leaks in the building this year, one just a few days pre-explosion, and now I haven't heard anything further...

(Personally, with the letters, and the situation I believe it was a terrorist act done by the guy, and to have so much neglect for the lives of others is just twisted.)

The Daily News this morning had excerpts from the 14 page e-mail he sent to his ex-wife and various other people--including Arnold Schwartznegger (no really, this isn't a joke--his lengthy and rambling rant included his opinions of the unjust nature of NY State divorce laws:

"My brother died becuase his wife was able to divorce him with lies and help from NYS, with the help of the legal aid society, woman's shelters, etc."

In addition to his assualt on his gold-diggin ex-wife he also shares some of his invaluable political insight:

"The anti-american politicians and others who are against the war in Iraq (the same people who were against the Vietnam war)...I hope they will succeed so that the terrorists will move to the states."

This gem: PS: "Fascism=Communism=Political Correctness"

Oh and: PS #2: "Cindy Sheehan is descrating her son's memory..."

Hard to imagine why anyone would want to divorce such a catch, but this once again underscores that we are living in a post-satire world, where reality is fast outpacing even the most fevered and sarcastic imaginations. Let's get this straight: in his rambling, self-righteous suicide note, he declares himself a true patriot and defender of America from all those who would "surrender" to the terrorists, then after firing off this e-mail, what does he do? Blows up an entire fucking building with himself in it, in the hopes of finally getting back at his ex-wife through a final act of suicide bombing. Oh and in the process he injured a dozen or so other people. Hilarious, the best part is that he's alive too, so he couldn't even get that part right, I'm sure his ex-wife will probably collect the huge insurance policy on his townhouse in the end, hopefully he'll be alive for that too.

Um...

I suppose I'm the last person who should make this noise at anybody, but: (ding) Cuckoo! (ding) Cuckoo! (ding) Cuckoo! (ding) Cuckoo!

Presuming all of the above is accurate, I can only assume that he wrote himself a prescription he shouldn't have.

Lindsay, I don't understand your opinion that "if the allegations against the alleged perp bear out, this was a terrorist act." Merriam-Webster's online defintion of "terror" is violent or destructive acts (as bombing) committed by groups in order to intimidate a population or government into granting their demands. Do you have a different definition, or do you think the explosion fits under this one?

Parse, see New York Fronts comment for the relevant details. According to his own emails, which he sent to politicians as well as to his ex-wife, the alleged perp appears to have been engaging in a politically-motivated act of violence to protest the perceived injustice of divorce laws. When PETA sets off explosives at animal research facilities, it's terrorism. When a guy blows up a building to make a point about how unfair the NY divorce laws are, it's also terrorism. The fact that he sent this email to politicians underscores his political motivation. Sure, he's crazy. Being crazy hardly makes you less of a terrorist.

According to Fronts NYC, his motive was not to protest the injustice of divorce laws, it was to "Blow up an entire fucking building with himself in it, in the hopes of finally getting back at his ex-wife through a final act of suicide bombing." I don't see any evidence that he thought the explosion would coerce (or convince) authorities to change divorce laws.

Do you think Tim McVeigh intended to coerce or convince the federal government to abolish itself when he blew up the federal building in Oklahoma City?

No, but I think he probably believed his act was part of a series of violent episodes that might spark a rebellion and lead to the destruction of the "ZOG."

Here's a fun fact (assuming this page is on the up-and-up):

The guy apparently donated $250 to Dubya's presidential campaign.

Make of that what you will; obviously not all of Dubya's supported would do something like this, but I for one am starting to detect a pattern...

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