Palestinian Scouts accused over training course dedicated to bus killer

Scout leaders are investigating claims its Palestinian branch held an event in support of a killer who attacked Israelis on a bus. The World Scout Bureau insisted it did not support “terrorist activities” after reports that the troop in annexed east Jerusalem ran a training course dedicated to Bahaa Alyan, who shot and stabbed three people. “We are definitely investigating and we hope to respond as soon as possible,” said Srinath Venugopal, executive director at the World Scout Bureau’s office of the secretary general, “Due to the nature of the issue it takes a little time to establish the facts.”

To name a programme after a cold-blooded murderer is outrageous.

Victim’s son, Micah Lakin Avni

Aylan was killed by security forces after he ran amok on a Jerusalem bus last October. Micah Lakin Avni, whose 76-year-old father, Richard, died after being shot and then stabbed on the bus, said he wanted the “complete removal” of the Palestinian branch from the wider Scout movement. “The Scouts are a programme all around the world teaching millions of people how to be good citizens and how to treat people with respect,” he said. Palestinian scout leader Ahmed Mashahreh said he was active for many years in the Scouting movement and that the recognition had nothing to do with the bus attack.

This had nothing to do with politics. During his lifetime, Baha was very active in scout activities. That’s why we picked his name, not because of what he did on the last day of his life.

Palestinian scout leader Ahmed Mashahreh