Terrorism, murder, arson in England, Poland, Germany, & Russia: Top 5 News Stories

Female suicide bomber strikes Russian bus, 6 dead • Student admits murdering 82-year-old man and plotting explosions near mosques • German Synagogues Have Been Attacked At Least 82 Times in Last Four Years • Mosque Torching Draws Kristallnacht Comparison By Polish Jews Muslim prayer house in Russia set on fire

Last week's top news, from our perspective…This past week was unusual in that multiple stories of violence came in from places that we do not typically associate with religious conflict:
 

Female suicide bomber strikes Russian bus, 6 dead

Possibly married to an Islamist militant, a suicide bomber who blew up a bus in Russia, killing six, was from a troubled area close to Sochi, where the Olympics will be.

The bombing in Volgograd was likely to raise fears of further attacks by Islamist militants as Russia prepares to host the 2014 Winter Olympics in February in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi, not far from the mainly Muslim North Caucasus. (Photo Credit: Sergei Ivanishin, Associated Press)

Student admits murdering 82-year-old man and plotting explosions near mosques

A Ukrainian student with a hatred of "non-whites" has admitted murdering an 82-year-old man and plotting to cause explosions near mosques in central England. Pavlo Lapshyn, 25, a postgraduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, in Ukraine, appeared at the Old Bailey and pleaded guilty to murdering Mohammed Saleem as he walked home from a mosque in Birmingham in April.

He also admitted causing an explosion on July 12 near the Kanzal Iman mosque in Tipton, and engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts between April 24 and July 18 this year.

German Synagogues Have Been Attacked At Least 82 Times in Last Four Years

There have been 82 reported attacks on synagogues in Germany from 2008 to 2012, according to a report requested by Left Party legislator and Bundestag Vice President Petra Pau.

But the reported number may actually be too low: An investigation by Germany’s main Jewish weekly, the Juedische Allgemeine, showed that several notable incidents were not included in the report from the German Interior Ministry that was released last week, including an attack on the Dresden synagogue in 2012, as well as desecration of synagogue property in Regensburg and Wuppertal that same year.

Mosque Torching Draws Kristallnacht Comparison By Polish Jews

The torching of a mosque in Gdansk, Poland has rocked the local community, particularly as the incident occurred weeks before the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, or "The Night Of Broken Glass" which was a pogrom against Jews on November 9-10, 1938.

Jewish leaders were quick to point out the "frightening connotations" of the arson in a statement which condemned the attack, reports JTA.

Muslim prayer house in Russia set on fire

Russian police said attackers set fire to a Muslim prayer house in a southern Russian city earlier rocked by a suicide bombing.

Volgograd police said Tuesday someone threw Molotov cocktails at the building late Monday night, but the custodian managed to put it out. Houses with rooms set aside for Muslim prayer are common in southern Russia.