I’m a little confused about recent events in the kindly, tolerant San Francisco Bay Area.
Last night I read that a Fremont man named Omeed Aziz Popal drove his SUV on a murderous rampage, killing one and wounding 14.
Today I read that the driver was a devout but apparently stressed out Muslim who attended the Abu Bakr Siddiq Mosque in Hayward.
Because I live near a Saudi madrassa, I thought I should check it out to see what sort of stuff they preach there, and the first article I stumbled onto was a writeup of an eerily similar driving incident — at the very same mosque:

HAYWARD ? A 77-year-old man plowed his car into a group of people gathered outside a local mosque after a Friday afternoon prayer service, injuring 11, police said.
Four of the people hit in the parking lot of the Abu Bakr Siddiq Mosque, 29414 Mission Blvd., in south Hayward were taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries, said Hayward Police Sgt. Corey Quinn.
Seven others, who were not seriously injured, told police that they would seek their own medical care, Quinn said, adding that the driver was not injured.
Members of the mosque are mostly of Afghan descent, which created a sense of fear that the incident might have been intentionally directed at those from the Middle East. But Quinn said police are ruling that the incident was accidental, although it remains under investigation.

That article is dated August 12. Might this be retaliation?
(I’m sure the blogosphere is all over this by now, but I thought I’d post this anyway…)
MORE: Glenn Reynolds has a roundup of reactions to the hit-and-run spree.
UPDATE: Gateway Pundit and Michelle Malkin explore the incident’s proximity to the San Francisco Jewish Center, and Pajamas Media has a roundup of blogosphere reactions.
(I’m not finding out much more about the earlier Hayward mosque incident. It appears to have been an accident in which an elderly physician hit the gas pedal instead of the accelerator. But does that mean the mosque congregation necessarily saw it that way?)
MORE: According to this account, three people had broken legs, and the congregation was described as fearful:

Members of the mosque are mostly of Afghan descent, which created a sense of fear that the incident might have been intentionally directed at those from the Middle East. But Quinn said police are ruling that the incident was accidental, although it remains under investigation.

The San Jose Mercury News account mentions “fears of a hate crime”:

Because the members of the Abu Bakr Siddiq Mosque mostly belong to the Afghan community, reports of the incident initially sparked fears of a hate crime, but Sgt. Corey Quinn said police are investigating the incident as an accident.

Whether the August 11 incident factored into the suspect’s thinking is of course pure speculation, and maintaining skepticism until the facts are in is always the best policy. (Reading the minds of suspects based on news accounts is a risky business. Who knows what may have entered into this crackpot’s mind?)
UPDATE: According to this KTVU video, a witness claimed the suspect referred to himself as “a terrorist.”
That’s what they call an admission.
UPDATE (08/31/06): The DC Examiner has an excellent analysis of what is being called “Sudden Jihadist Syndrome”:

….Muslims who follow the most extreme jihadist advocates of hatred for Jews, Christians, Israel, America and Western civilization, unexpectedly acting on what they have been taught, including the rationalizations for mass murder.
[…]
This meme of Mr. Nice Guy Muslim Neighbor suddenly exploding in a murderous assault upon innocent Americans or other Westerners ? often in locales one would never consider likely killing grounds ? is becoming all too familiar.
[…]
Considering that U.S. border and immigration controls have been almost laughably ineffective for years, we ought not be surprised to find we have many Sudden Jihadist Syndrome time bombs walking among us.

Outside of San Francisco, this latest incident seems to have barely been reported. There was nothing in the print version of the Philadelphia Inquirer, but this bared down version of the AP story does appear online.
I’m wondering about something. Considering the human penchant for monkey-see-monkey-do behavior, might non-reporting tend to decrease the incidence of SJS? Is there any way to know?