Bombing Outside Australian Christian Lobby HQ by Gay Activist ‘Not Political’
Jaden Duong “drove a van up to a church, opened four cylinders of gas and lit a lighter” in an apparent suicide attempt, according to records released to the magistrate’s court where he is standing trial for arson and property damage.
Notes from Sydney’s Concord Hospital — which treated Duong following the blast — suggest “He is ‘not a huge fan’ of the Australian Christian Lobby (ACL), or religion in general, due to their beliefs and position on sexuality,” according to The Australian.
Asked why he chose the ACL headquarters — the ground floor of which was gutted — Duong is alleged to have replied: “Because I dislike the Australian Christian Lobby,” and, “Because religions are failed.”
However, Australian Capital Territory (ACT) police insisted the “car fire” was not motivated by religion, ideology, or politics.
“Based on information known by police at the time, which included a brief record of interview with the alleged offender where he stated to police his intention was to commit suicide by blowing himself up, police stated the actions of the individual were not politically, religiously or ideologically motivated,” said an official statement.
“This is still ACT Policing’s position.”
ACL managing director Lyle Shelton has been critical of the police investigation into the bombing, questioning their assertion that it was merely a suicide attempt entirely unmotivated by religious prejudice.
Asked if he had “any thoughts about the [ACL] property”, Duong is alleged to have replied: “Well, if that blew up — yay — but actually I was just trying to blow myself up.”
The Australian reports that Duong had previously volunteered to campaign for a gay activist politician and for an LGBT organisation in San Francisco, California.
Prior to being taken offline, Duong’s personal LinkedIn profile claimed he had volunteered with California State Assembly member and gay activist David Chiu’s 2014 campaign, and with Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf’s 2014 campaign.
Duong searched “Australian Christian Lobby” online prior to his suicide attempt, and subscribed to its mailing list between July 7th and August 23rd.
He also researched plastic explosives and looked up search terms such as “how to make ammonium nitrate” and “pressure- cooker bomb”.
“I am … concerned that the police continue to refer to the incident, which blew out thick glass windows on the ground floor and first floor of our office, as a ‘car fire’,” said Shelton.
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