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Van explodes outside Christian Lobby HQ in Deakin West

By Charlotte Harper - 22 December 2016 10

Van car bomb. Photo: Lyle Shelton, Twitter

A van believed to be carrying gas cylinders reportedly exploded after being driven into the Deakin West headquarters of the Australian Christian Lobby late last night.

See our Facebook live coverage from the Eternity House, the ACL’s headquarters in Campion St, Deakin West as the organisation’s managing director, Lyle Shelton, arrived at around 8.30am to assess the damage and address media:

No one was inside the Eternity House building at the time of the explosion, approximately 10.45pm according to a report from News Ltd, though the alleged driver is reportedly receiving medical treatment for his injuries and the two-storey structure sustained extensive fire damage following the impact.

The managing director of the Australian Christian Lobby, Lyle Shelton, who was interstate on holidays, will return today to assess the damage. He tweeted photographs of the scene this morning.

“A closer view of the car bomb driven into the ACL office in Canberra tonight. Shocked that this could happen in Australia.”

The ACL MD told News Corp police had confirmed the van had been loaded with gas cylinders and detonated.

“We have had the normal trolls on social media and even had death threats sent to our Canberra office over the year but I am very concerned someone would do this,” he said.

“It is a relief the building was unoccupied at the time and we are all very thankful our staff are all safe.

“Obviously this is very unsettling to us but also to anyone in Australia, for this to happen in Canberra, our nation’s capital is very disappointing.”

The ACL has been vocal throughout this election year in its opposition to issues such as marriage equality and the Safe Schools program.

Federal Nationals MP George Christensen tweeted his sympathy to Mr Shelton this morning:

“I hope you’re all ok @LyleShelton – if this indeed a politically motivated attack it is disgraceful & should be denounced.”

To which the ACL MD responded:

“Thx George. Too early to tell but we have received numerous death threats & threats of violence this yr which sadly have not been denounced.”

ACT Policing is investigating the incident and asks anyone with information to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via their website, https://act.crimestoppers.com.au. Information can be provided anonymously.

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10 Responses to
Van explodes outside Christian Lobby HQ in Deakin West
dungfungus 5:50 pm 08 Jun 17

It was reported widely in the media on 24th May 2017 that a 36-year-old man from the Canberra suburb of Deakin would appear in the ACT Magistrates Court on June 7 charged with arson and property damage.

Today is June 8 yet still nothing has been released.

dungfungus 8:22 am 02 Jan 17

This incident at the Mosque in Monash was described (unchallenged) by a spokesperson for the Islamic Centre as a “hate crime”.
The ABC reports it as “vandalism”.
http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-04-16/clean-up-begins-at-islamic-centre-after-vandalism-attack/5395742
So let’s just accept that the incident at ACL was just a prank and move on.
I mean trying to blow up a Christian centre these days is just all those kids who used to blow up mail boxes moving up in the world isn’t?
I think an appeal should be launched to assist the driver (the only victim) to replace his van while assuring him that he hasn’t done anything wrong.
That would be applying good Christian values, wouldn’t it?

dungfungus 10:38 pm 01 Jan 17

JC said :

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

imhotep said :

What? Nothing more in the media about this? No information, clarifications, speculations, Imagine if it had been a mosque.

I hope it’s not because our betters in the media have decided that the Plebs can’t handle the truth.

I don’t think its the media withholding info. It would have to be the Police.

I’m sure the media will report what ever info the Police release – if they ever do.

The police are in a difficult position on this one as they have already decided it wasn’t a “hate” crime yet at the same time they haven’t laid any charges (amazing) and they haven’t even released his name.

The media doesn’t appear interested.

You are right the police are in a difficult position. Their role is to catch and then provide sufficient evidence for a conviction to be proven. Unfortunately when others have made up their minds about someone’s guilt and motivation through media driven lynch mobs it makes it hard for the second part of the equation to be met.

So maybe the coppers know more than they are letting on but are keeping it quiet so as to ensure the highest chance of a conviction for the right crime.

We don’t live in a trial by media society unless things have changed.

“We don’t live in a trial by media society unless things have changed.”

Tony Abbott and Donald Trump wouldn’t agree with that.

JC 9:54 pm 01 Jan 17

dungfungus said :

rommeldog56 said :

imhotep said :

What? Nothing more in the media about this? No information, clarifications, speculations, Imagine if it had been a mosque.

I hope it’s not because our betters in the media have decided that the Plebs can’t handle the truth.

I don’t think its the media withholding info. It would have to be the Police.

I’m sure the media will report what ever info the Police release – if they ever do.

The police are in a difficult position on this one as they have already decided it wasn’t a “hate” crime yet at the same time they haven’t laid any charges (amazing) and they haven’t even released his name.

The media doesn’t appear interested.

You are right the police are in a difficult position. Their role is to catch and then provide sufficient evidence for a conviction to be proven. Unfortunately when others have made up their minds about someone’s guilt and motivation through media driven lynch mobs it makes it hard for the second part of the equation to be met.

So maybe the coppers know more than they are letting on but are keeping it quiet so as to ensure the highest chance of a conviction for the right crime.

We don’t live in a trial by media society unless things have changed.

dungfungus 5:40 pm 31 Dec 16

rommeldog56 said :

imhotep said :

What? Nothing more in the media about this? No information, clarifications, speculations, Imagine if it had been a mosque.

I hope it’s not because our betters in the media have decided that the Plebs can’t handle the truth.

I don’t think its the media withholding info. It would have to be the Police.

I’m sure the media will report what ever info the Police release – if they ever do.

The police are in a difficult position on this one as they have already decided it wasn’t a “hate” crime yet at the same time they haven’t laid any charges (amazing) and they haven’t even released his name.

The media doesn’t appear interested.

rommeldog56 6:48 am 31 Dec 16

imhotep said :

What? Nothing more in the media about this? No information, clarifications, speculations, Imagine if it had been a mosque.

I hope it’s not because our betters in the media have decided that the Plebs can’t handle the truth.

I don’t think its the media withholding info. It would have to be the Police. I’m sure the media will report what ever info the Police release – if they ever do.

imhotep 10:17 pm 30 Dec 16

What? Nothing more in the media about this? No information, clarifications, speculations, Imagine if it had been a mosque.

I hope it’s not because our betters in the media have decided that the Plebs can’t handle the truth.

dungfungus 10:01 am 24 Dec 16

A couple of letters to the editor in today’s Canberra Times indicate that the police know little about the identity and intentions of the alleged arsonist or they are not telling all.

Someone has also made the point that the police shouldn’t be drawing conclusions so early in the investigation.

Maybe the AFP should be hiring the Italian police to sort out this problem.

dungfungus 1:07 pm 23 Dec 16

Russ said :

I can’t believe how poorly this has been reported, particularly by news outlets that should know better. The vehicle in no way, shape or form “rammed”, “crashed” or “drove into” the ACL’s building. It simply did no such thing. A cursory glance at the vehicle, or the front of the building clearly shows no damage associated with a collision of any sort. Yet how many journos just blithely used that term?

In reality, the van just parked in front of the building.

As for some claiming it was a “car bomb”, it appears to be in remarkably good shape. “Loaded” or “packed” with gas bottles apparently means about 4 bottles. “Detonating” said bottles apparently means setting fire to the vehicle. The gas bottles would have vented at some point (no, you cannot explode an LPG gas bottle) which would have resulted in an explosion of some sort, but nothing particularly impressive from the look of it – the van roof looks slightly bowed outward.

I don’t think we need to worry about fake news when traditional outlets manage to provide misleading reports all by themselves.

The report that the unnamed perpetrator then walked to TCH to get treated for his burns seems a bit dodgy too, especially as he is now in a “critical” condition.

Good point about gas bottles filled with gas not exploding either. They will explode however if they are empty and then filled with explosives.

Russ 1:35 pm 22 Dec 16

I can’t believe how poorly this has been reported, particularly by news outlets that should know better. The vehicle in no way, shape or form “rammed”, “crashed” or “drove into” the ACL’s building. It simply did no such thing. A cursory glance at the vehicle, or the front of the building clearly shows no damage associated with a collision of any sort. Yet how many journos just blithely used that term?

In reality, the van just parked in front of the building.

As for some claiming it was a “car bomb”, it appears to be in remarkably good shape. “Loaded” or “packed” with gas bottles apparently means about 4 bottles. “Detonating” said bottles apparently means setting fire to the vehicle. The gas bottles would have vented at some point (no, you cannot explode an LPG gas bottle) which would have resulted in an explosion of some sort, but nothing particularly impressive from the look of it – the van roof looks slightly bowed outward.

I don’t think we need to worry about fake news when traditional outlets manage to provide misleading reports all by themselves.

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