The 25-year-old man who killed 7 people in the crowded Akihabara district of Tokyo on Sunday posted a thread on an online bulletin board that was titled "I will kill people in Akihabara." The final post to the thread was at 12:10 p.m., and his attack began around 12:30 p.m. According to the NY Times, the final post read, "It's time."
Today's article in the Times says that in other posts, "Mr. Kato [the attacker] described leaving his home just west of Tokyo, heading to the capital and worrying that rain could hamper his plans. He wrote about arriving in Akihabara at 11:45 a.m."
How do we handle criminals who are willing to blog or post or text about their crimes in advance of them happening? Could the police have done more? Did they have enough information to do anything? And why would he post? Is he trying to become famous? Or taunting the authorities?
Whatever the reasons, it's a sad and senseless crime. And it must be all the more shocking to a country that is not accustomed to random, mass violence. All my best to my friends and family in Tokyo.