Deputy assistant to President Trump Sebastian Gorka participates in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center February 24, 2017 in National Harbor, Maryland. Hosted by the American Conservative Union, CPAC is an annual gathering of right wing politicians, commentators and their supporters. Alex Wong/Getty Images.
Sebastian Gorka, a national security advisor to President Donald Trump, noticed an eerie connection between Monday night’s suicide bombing in Manchester and the public slaughter of British soldier Lee Rigby.
Both incidents, he noted, happened on the same date four years apart.
“Dates matter to Jihadi terrorists,” Gorka tweeted.
A bomb detonated just outside an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester arena on Monday night, killing 19 people and injuring at least 55. U.K. police are investigating the attack as a terrorist incident and believe a suicide bomber carried it out. Details of the bombing, including the use of nails as shrapnel and the targeting of a crowded public venue, bear the hallmarks of previous radical Islamic terror attacks in Europe, but no jihadi groups have claimed responsibility as of Thursday at 9:30 p.m. EST. (RELATED: Report: Suicide Bomber Responsible For Explosion At Manchester Arena [VIDEO])
As Gorka observed, the Manchester bombing happened on the fourth anniversary of the public killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby on May 22, 2013. Rigby was walking down a street in southeast London when two radical Islamists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, ran over him with a car before hacking him to death with knives and a cleaver. The killers, who also attempted to behead Rigby, told bystanders who shot video of the attack:
The only reason we have killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers. And this British soldier is one … By Allah, we swear by the almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone.
Adebolajo and Adebowale, British citizens of Nigerian descent, were born into Christian families but converted to Islam and were radicalized in London. Both men are serving life sentences in prison.
Gorka has come under criticism for his views on Islam and the causes of jihadist terror. He has argued that Islamic terrorism is mainly the result of a totalitarian ideology as opposed to poverty or poor governance, resulting in accusations that he is guilty of “Islamophobia.”
One connection between the Rigby murder and the Manchester bombing that Gorka didn’t point out but that many other Twitter users noted: Rigby was born in the Manchester neighborhood of Crumpsall, about three miles north of Manchester Arena.
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