Left: Alabama Governor Bob Riley with state investigator, courtesy of CBS.com.
The fires that burned nine Alabama churches to the ground in the past two weeks may be linked, and state officials say they are seeking two white males for questioning in the fires.
All of the churches involved belonged to Baptist denominations. Five of the nine churches have large African American congregations, as do all four churches in the fires set on Tuesday.
Witnesses described two men driving a dark-colored SUV near churches in Bibb County, south of Birmingham, and in Sumter and Greene counties, said Ragan Ingram, assistant commissioner of the Alabama Department of Insurance.
Austin Banks, an FBI special agent working on the case, agreed that there were “many common signs” between the arson attacks. Most of the buildings showed signs of forced entry, and the fires were ignited near the pulpit of the churches.
“It’s a sad sight to see a smouldering church, particularly when it doesn’t have a rich congregation,” Mr Banks said. “This is going to be our top priority until we put someone in jail.”
I have never understood the type of thinking that could lead someone to engage in an act of such utter despicability. There are few places left on the planet where people can go for solace, and these demented individuals are attacking more than just houses of worship - most of these churches served as community centers.
And what form of "justice" would be appropriate for such sociopathic individuals, whose primary goal seems to be deriving pleasure from the pain and terror of others?