Obama Warns: No Place for Religious Violence in the US
President Barack Obama warned Monday that religious violence had no place in US society after a gunman with alleged anti-Semitic ties killed three people at a Jewish center and retirement home.
"Nobody should have to worry about their security when gathering with their fellow believers. No one should have to fear for their safety when they go to prayer," Obama said at the White House, a day after the shooting in Kansas.
Former KKK member Frazier Glenn Cross, Jr. has been identified as the prime suspect in the shooting, which saw a gunmen shoot three people dead Sunday at a Jewish community center and a retirement community in Kansas, drawing widespread condemnation and consternation on the eve of the week-long Jewish festival of Passover, which starts at sunset on Monday.
The suspect was heard yelling "Heil Hitler" as police officers escorted him away at an elementary school, local NBC television affiliate KSHB reported.
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, Cross had posted at least 12,000 messages on a neo-Nazi internet forum called the Vanguard News Network. Members of the forum celebrated the shooting with a discussion thread that reached nearly 100 posts by early Monday. "3 ain't bad. Hail Hitler brother!!" read one comment.
On Sunday, US President Barack Obama condemned the "horrific" shooting, and pledged the federal government's "full support" in the investigation and to the community.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu condemned the shootings Monday, vowing to 'fight the pestilence' of anti-Semitism.
"We condemn the murders, which according to all the signs were committed from hatred of Jews," said a statement from his office, which added that Netanyahu had sent condolences to the victims' families.
"The state of Israel, together with all civilized people, is committed to fighting this pestilence," Netanyahu said.