On Security

Terrorist Attacks on Houses of Worship: A Vicious Cycle Goes Global

Scott Stewart
VP of Tactical Analysis, Stratfor
May 7, 2019 | 15:46 GMT
Chabad of Poway, a synagogue in Poway, California, on April 28, 2019, a day after a gunman killed one person and injured three others.

Chabad of Poway, a synagogue in Poway, California, on April 28, 2019, a day after a gunman killed one person and injured three others.

(SANDY HUFFAKER/AFP/Getty Images)

A 19-year-old man with a semi-automatic rifle burst through the front door of the Chabad of Poway on April 27 in Southern California, opening fire on worshipers celebrating the final day of Passover in the synagogue. After firing several rounds, his rifle jammed, providing a member of the congregation an opportunity to rush him and chase him out of the synagogue to his car. A second member of the congregation, an armed off-duty U.S. Border Patrol officer, opened fire as the shooter fled, striking his car. Police apprehended the shooter shortly after he left the synagogue, where he had killed one person and wounded three others, including the rabbi. Had his rifle not malfunctioned, the casualty count undoubtedly would have been greater. The Poway shooter also wrote in his manifesto that he was behind an arson at the Dar-ul-Arqam mosque in Escondido, California. The threat to houses of worship has...

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