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Mother of Slain Backpacker Writes Angry Letter to Trump over
Sun Feb 12, 2017 04:45

Mother of slain backpacker writes angry letter to Trump over terror list
Bex Wright
By Ben Westcott and Rebecca Wright, CNN
Updated 2:33 PM ET, Wed February 8, 2017
Slain backpacker's mom writes to Trump

21-year-old British citizen Mia Ayliffe-Chung was killed in Queensland, Australia, while on a backpacking trip to the country.

Murdered backpacker's mom writes to Trump
trump media terror attacks false claims

(CNN)The mother of a slain British backpacker has written a scathing letter to US President Donald Trump after her daughter's killing in Australia appeared on the White House's list of 78 underreported terror attacks.

"My daughter's death will not be used to further this insane persecution of innocent people," Rosie Ayliffe wrote in a statement posted to Facebook.

Rosie Ayliffe @RosieAyliffe
.@realDonaldTrump An open letter regarding the deaths of the heroic Tom Jackson and my daughter, Mia Ayliffe-Chung:
4:25 PM - 7 Feb 2017

7,851 7,851 Retweets 11,354 11,354 likes

Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was stabbed to death in Queensland in August along with fellow backpacker Tom Jackson, 30.

Australian police almost immediately ruled out terrorism or radicalization as a motive for the killing.

"The possibility of Mia and Tom's deaths being consequent to an Islamic terror attack was discounted in the early stages of the police investigation... Any fool can shout Allahu Akbar as they commit a crime," Rosie Ayliffe wrote in her statement.

CNN did not report on Ayliffe-Chung's death at the time after terrorism was ruled out.

Trump falsely claims media does not report terror attacks 07:23

'Led into ... darkness and hatred'

On Monday, Trump attacked the media for not adequately reporting on incidents on terrorism worldwide.

Later, the White House distributed a list of 78 "major" terror attacks since September 2014, which it said were either executed or inspired by ISIS and didn't receive adequate press attention.

Media outlets have responded with numerous examples of stories on the attacks; CNN covered 61 of the 78 incidents on the list.

How CNN covered the terror attacks on the White House list
Trump is fighting legal challenges to his controversial travel ban that restricts access to the United States to citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and all refugees for 120 days.

In her statement, Rosie Ayliffe called out what she saw as the "vilification" of entire states or religions.

"Treating immigrants as disposable commodities and disregarding their safety causes deaths throughout our so-called civilized world."

"I have lived and worked in the Islamic world for a number of years ... Mia traveled in Turkey and Morocco too, albeit too briefly," she wrote.

"We encountered nothing but respect and hospitality from people who are committed to courtesy and honoring their fellow human beings.

This vilification ... is a terrifying reminder of the horror that can ensue when we allow ourselves to be led by ignorant people into darkness and hatred."

The Trump administration has not responded to Ayliffe. CNN has reached out to her for further comment.
'There is dark and evil in this world': Father's anguish after son who was stabbed 20 times as he tried to save backpacker dies of his wounds
Tom Jackson, 30, has died at Townsville Hospital six days after attack

He came to the aid of murdered Mia Ayliffe-Chung at Home Hill hostel

Mr Jackson was stabbed at least 20 times in the face, neck and chest

Ms Ayliffe-Chung also died last week following the horrific attack

Frenchman Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with murder
By Daniel Piotrowski for Daily Mail Australia and Martin Robinson, Uk Chief Reporter For Mailonline and Liz Hull for the Daily Mail

PUBLISHED: 00:29 EST, 30 August 2016 | UPDATED: 19:49 EST, 30 August 2016
Heartbroken:The family of murdered backpacker Tom Jackson have spoken of their deep grief at losing a much-loved son and brother today

Heartbroken:The family of murdered backpacker Tom Jackson have spoken of their deep grief at losing a much-loved son and brother today

The family of a British backpacker knifed while trying to protect his friend said they had been left ‘bereft’ yesterday after he died of his injuries.

Charity worker Thomas Jackson, 30, was stabbed in the head, neck and torso around 20 times as he battled in vain to defend Mia Ayliffe-Chung, who was killed.

He bravely stepped in after aspiring model Miss Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was dragged out of bed by Smail Ayad, 29, at the dormitory they shared in an Australian hostel while working at a remote farm.

The kickboxer screamed ‘Allahu Akbar’, Arabic for ‘God is great’, while stabbing her, say witnesses, and hurt 12 police officers who used pepper spray and a Taser to subdue him.

Despite his jihadi-style outburst, police have ruled out links to terrorism, and say tests found he had been using cannabis.

Mr Jackson spent the last six days fighting for his life, but yesterday his family revealed they had to turn off his life-support machine at Townsville Hospital, Queensland. His father Les, 58, who had flown 10,000 miles from the family home in Congleton, Cheshire, said: ‘We are bereft. Our darling Tom has left us and the world is a poorer place.

‘Thanks again to everyone for the love and support you have given us over the last few days, we will be forever grateful.

‘There is dark and evil in this world perpetrated by a few, but so much more love and light emanates from so many more. That thought will sustain us.’

Scroll down for 2 videos
Friend Rachel Eddie Edwards (pictured with Mr Jackson) posted online: 'I keep praying it's not real as I can't really find the words to say how devastated I am to lose one of my greatest and longest friends

Friend Rachel Eddie Edwards (pictured with Mr Jackson) posted online: 'I keep praying it's not real as I can't really find the words to say how devastated I am to lose one of my greatest and longest friends

Bereft: Tom's sister Liv, who lives in Britain, posted this moving tribute and photograph of them together, as his heroic death was announced today
Proud father: Les Jackson, father of Tom (both pictured), rushed from the UK to Australia to be at his son's bedside and later spoke about the 'immense' pride he felt

British backpacker dies in hospital after being stabbed in the face

In a Facebook message, Mr Jackson’s younger sister Olivia, 23, urged people not to remember her brother as a victim, saying: ‘To everyone back home and everyone here, there are literally not enough words to thank you for your support. All I ask is that you don’t remember Tom as a victim. You remember him as a friend, cherish the memories you had together and be thankful you got to meet him.’

A Youcaring fundraising page has set up to help the family. The page has raised more than £1,300 of a £5,000 target with all donations going to Mr Jackson's parents.

Last week he said: 'There are many and varied reasons why we are, and always will be, immensely proud of Tom.

'His actions in response to this horrific attack only add to that sense of pride'.

Mr Jackson's sister, Liv, wrote on Facebook: 'Today it is with the heaviest of hearts that I have had to say goodbye to my wonderful big brother, Tom. There is nothing in this world that can prepare you for the pain and heartbreak of losing a sibling and a friend, but there is great comfort in knowing that he was mine.

'To everyone back home and to everyone here in Australia, there are literally not enough words to thank you for your support and beautifully kind words to my family at this time. All that I ask is that you don't remember Tom as a victim. You remember him as a friend, cherish the memories you had together and be thankful you got to meet him and be part of the joy that he bought to this world.

'Indescribably proud of everything you accomplished and the lives you touched. I will love you always and forever TJ, your little sister, Lou.'

Heroic: Tom died trying to save his friend in a savage attack that has shocked Britain and Australia
Home Hill stabbing hero Thomas Jackson, 30, died on Tuesday after almost a week fighting for life at Townsville Hospital

Detectives said an attempted murder charge will be upgraded to murder following Mr Jackson's death.

Friends had prayed for Mr Jackson to pull through in public vigils and social media tributes.

'STAY STRONG TOM... You'll never walk alone,' read a banner hung out the front of the hostel.

Friends and well-wishers of Mr Jackson posted tributes to the murdered traveller on social media sites. Many changed their profile pictures to images of them with the 30-year-old from Cheshire.

Emily Jayne Waters wrote on Facebook: 'I honestly couldn't be anymore broken right now ... you will forever be remembered by us all ... RIP Tom Jackson ... I'm so proud to have had a hero like you as a friend. I love you buddy.'

Pavan Namana, a Facebook friend of Mr Jackson, wrote: 'RIP Tom Jackson we miss you.'
Steven Isles posted on Facebook: 'Tom Jackson, you die a hero, committing a most selfless act anyone could, trying to preserve the life of the innocent.'

Donating money on the Youcaring fundraising page, Angela Smith wrote: 'So very sorry for your loss. A man for our country to be proud of. RIP Tom. X'

Simon Ash posted: 'Your courage is beyond words, a true hero and the world knows it. sending you strength.'
Mia Ayliffe-Chung, 21, was killed during the Home Hill knife attack last week
Smail Ayad, 29, has been charged with the murder of Ms Ayliffe-Chung - and now will be charged with Mr Jackson's murder

He posted on the social media site: 'You were a great friend Tom, a loyal friend, and I'm a better person for having known you.

'You helped everyone around you. I admired and looked up to your carefree approach to life and your constant ability to find the good in bad.

'I'm very fond of our time together, we had some truly amazing laughs and life experiences. I have memories I'll keep with me every day.

'I'll never forget you mate. You are one of the very very best. Good bye mate, and thank you for everything. You'll never walk alone.'

Friend Rachel Eddie Edwards posted: 'I keep praying it's not real as I can't really find the words to say how devastated I am to lose one of my greatest and longest friends.

'The world has lost a hero. I will never ever forget how much of an incredible person you are Jacko and how you lit up my life whenever we've been together or even on our many phone calls. You can Rest In Peace now my dear friend ... I'm going to miss you terribly.'

Mr Jackson was a sport student at South Cheshire College until 2005.

College principal Jasbir Dhesi said: 'This is very sad news following Thomas's heroic intervention where he was trying to protect somebody else.

'Our hearts go out to Thomas's family and friends following this tragic incident.'
Ms Ayliffe-Chung and Mr Jackson were killed at Shelley's Backpackers in Home Hill, Queensland. It is a popular place for backpackers to stay doing rural work to fulfil visa requirements

Smail Ayad, a 29-year-old Frenchman, has been charged with the murder of Ms Ayliffe-Chung, but has been deemed too violent by police to appear in court.

Miss Ayliffe-Chugn was allegedly dragged from her bed by Ayad while she slept in the dormitory they shared on an Australian farm.

Police described Mr Jackson's attempts to help Ms Ayliffe-Chung as 'completely selfless' last week.

Superintendent Ray Rohweder said on Friday: 'There is no doubt he tried to render aid to Mia.'

'His subsequent actions were absolutely fantastic...

'I have no doubt that his actions on that day, as selfless, completely selfless as they were, led to the injuries that he now has.'

Writing in The Independent, her mother Rosie Ayliffe said: 'Having been raised as a socialist and within the Church, what I choose to take from the scriptures and from socialist texts is that forgiveness and reparation are absolutely key, or violence escalates into something uncontrollable.

'And the person who killed Mia now has to live with the fact that they destroyed my daughter. If they feel no remorse, then surely they're a monster in human form, and what kind of life is that?

'My brother asked me what I would do or say in a hypothetical world if I could meet Mia's killer.

'It appears he wasn't allowed to appear in court this week because of safety concerns, so I'm unlikely to get near enough to have a conversation, and only if I were suicidal would I want to (I'm not).'

Mr Ayad's case was adjourned to October 28.
Family and friends had been praying for Jackson (centre) to pull through. He was left in a critical conditions following the attacks

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