A text message that was circulated by mobile phone in Yemen after the attack said that "holy warriors" had killed "a senior missionary" in the central city of Taiz. That being said, there has been no claim of responsibility for Shrum's death by al-Qaeda or any of its surrogates.
COMMENT: The Center has vigorously denied that Shrum was proselytizing, saying that he "highly respected" Islam. It said Muslims and Christians work together on "human development, skill transfer and community development" projects at the school and that religious and political debates are not permitted by either faculty or students.
It should be noted that earlier this month, in the Kurdish city of Sulaimaniyah, Biyar Sarwar , 18, shot and killed his gym teacher, American citizen Jeremiah Small, 33, before turning the gun on himself at a private English-speaking school during a morning sports lecture.
Sarwar died later at a nearby hospital without clearly learning the motive for attack on Small.
Interestingly, in a strange quote on his Face-book page, Small's father, in the state of Washington, said, "Our oldest, Jeremiah, was martyred in Kurdistan this am," the elder Small wrote.
Unfortunately, in our frenetic, 24/7 news cycle, there is little time for most media to deliberately analyze what appear to be isolated incidents, yet given the level of disdain for the US throughout the Middle East, trend analysis is crucial in preventing further and unnecessary attacks.
In this regard, those responsible for hiring foreign teachers, particularly in the Middle East, should factor in biases toward particular nationalities, solely on personal security grounds, in the hope of heading off future attacks on teachers.
Given the harsh laws against proselytizing in many ultra-conservative Middle Eastern countries, consideration should also be given to ensuring that selected candidates do not have a religious conflict in operating in such nations.