Close your eyes for a moment and picture a "Terrorist"...
Okay, you are on Daily Kos, so when you close your eyes, you might not picture what the average American pictures, so now try to imagine what most Americans picture...
To get a good idea of what the average person sees as a terrorist, do a Google image Search on the word terrorist and it will tell you a lot about how we view terrorism.
First, here is the dictionary.com definition of terrorism:
1. The use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, esp. for political purposes.
2. The state of fear and submission produced by terrorism or terrorization.
3. A terroristic method of governing or of resisting a government.
Simply put, violence in order to coerce or send a message and to terrify a group of people. In my judgment, each of these pictures represents a terrorist - although at least half of them are not regularly described that way in the media. I know some people will disagree with some of these people I have depicted, but my point goes beyond the individual cases to the overall picture and how it does not match up with what is portrayed in our society or media culture.
Here are the real faces of terrorism:
19 Hijackers - Flew planes into World Trade Center - Killed 2974 people.
Jihad Jane - Lived in a suburb of Philadelphia, charged with terrorism, recruited 7 others to kill Swedish artist Larrs Vilks for drawing a picture of Muhammad.
Joe Stack - committed a suicide attack on Feb 18th 2010 by flying his plane into an Internal Revenue Service, killing himself and IRS manager Vernon Hunter. 13 others were injured, two seriously.
John Patrick Bedell - On March 4th, 2010, shot two Pentagon Police officers at a security point at the Pentagon. He used a 9mm semi-automatic weapon and was a Libertarian critical of the US government. Bedell had Bi-Polar disorder, but officials are not sure if this contributed to the attack.
James von Brunn - A white Supremacist and Holocaust denier who perpetrated the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum shooting in Washington, DC on June 10, 2009. Security guard Stephen John was shot and killed in the shooting. He was author of the book Kill the Best Gentiles, which praises Adolph Hitler, writer on the Conservative site Free Republic, and also was an Obama birther conspiracist.
Osama bin Laden - Perpetrator of the September 11th attacks that killed over 2974 people.
Timothy McVeigh - Detonated a truck bomb in the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19th, 1995 killing 168 people and injured 450. McVeigh was a militia movement sympathizer and sought revenge against the government for the Waco siege. He hoped to inspire a a revolt against the federal government.
Scott Roeder - An anti-abortion activist who shot and killed Dr. George Tiller on May 31st, 2009. The shooting occurred during worship services at the Reformation Lutheran Church in Wichita, Kansas. Dr. Tiller was wearing body armor at the time, which he had worn regularly since 1998. Roeder claimed to have been suffering from schizophrenia and his ex-wife claimed he had bi-polar disorder.
Jim David Adkisson - On July 27th, 2008 Adkisson walked into the Tennessee Valley Unitarian Universalist Church in Knoxville, Tennessee and fired a shotgun at members of the congregation killing two people and wounding 7 others. A sworn affidavit by an officer who interviewed Adkisson described the following motivations:
"Adkisson stated that he had targeted the church because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country, and that he felt that the Democrats had tied his country's hands in the war on terror and they had ruined every institution in America with the aid of major media outlets. Adkisson made statements that because he could not get to the leaders of the liberal movement that he would then target those that had voted them into office."
The following books were found in his home:
Liberalism is a Mental disorder by Michael Savage
Let Freedom Ring: Winning the War of Liberty over Liberalism by Sean Hannity
The O'Reilly Factor by Bill O'Reilly
John Walker Lindh - an American citizen who was captured as an enemy combatant during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan for participating in Afghanistan's Taliban army and captured during the Battle fo Qala-i-Jangi, where American CIA officer Johnny Spann was killed.
James Kopp - convicted in 2003 for the 1998 sniper-style murder of Dr. Barnett Slepian, a physician from Amherst, New York. He was affiliated with the militant anti-abortion group "The Lambs of Christ".
Iman Al-Zawahiri - Prominent leader of Al-Qaeda and "lieutenant" to Osama bin Laden
Nidal Hasan - a U.S. Army Major, is the sole suspect in the November 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting, which occurred less than a month before he would have deployed to Afghanistan. 13 people were killed and 30 were wounded.
Richard Poplawski - The 2009 Pittsburgh police shootings was a shootout that took place on Saturday, April 4, 2009, at 1016 Fairfield Street in the Stanton Heights neighborhood of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, stemming from an argument over a dog urinating in the house between a mother and her 22-year-old son. 22-year-old Richard Poplawski opened fire on two Pittsburgh Police officers responding to a 911 call from Poplawski's mother, who was attempting to get the police officers to remove her son from the home. Three police officers were ultimately confirmed dead, and another two were seriously injured.
Edward Perkovic, a friend of Poplawski, said the gunman feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon".
Poplawski had reportedly posted a picture of his tattoo, a "deliberately Americanized version of the iron eagle" to the website, as well as a link to a YouTube video of Congressman Ron Paul discussing with Fox News host Glenn Beck the rumored existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps.
The many faces of Jared Loughner - Killed six people and wounded 14 others (most of us know the details by now).
Tides Foundation shooter - Byron Williams - an American responsible for the July 18, 2010 shootout with California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland, California. According to police, Williams planned to attack the San Francisco ACLU and Tides Foundation, with the intention of "starting a revolution." Williams has identified Glenn Beck as his primary motivation for the shootings. According to Williams, Beck is "like a schoolteacher on TV... he's been breaking open some of the most hideous corruption."
Underwear Bomber - Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab - a Nigerian citizen who attempted to detonate plastic explosives hidden in his underwear while on board Northwest Airlines Flight 253, en route from Amsterdam to Detroit, Michigan, on December 25, 2009.
Richard Reed - ommonly known as the shoe bomber, is a self-admitted member of al-Qaeda who pled guilty in 2002 in U.S. federal court to eight criminal counts of terrorism stemming from his attempt to destroy a commercial aircraft in-flight by detonating explosives hidden in his shoes.
Unabomber - Theodore John "Ted" Kaczynski - engaged in a mail bombing spree that spanned nearly 20 years, killing three people and injuring 23 others.
Times Square Bomber - Faisal Shahzad - a Pakistani American who attempted the May 1, 2010, Times Square car bombing.
DC Snipers - John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo - took place during three weeks in October 2002 in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. Ten people were killed and three others critically injured in various locations throughout the Washington Metropolitan Area.
Frank Roque - is a convicted murderer from Arizona who killed gas station owner Balbir Singh Sodhi four days after the September 11, 2001 attacks. Roque incorrectly believed that the Indian Sikh was a Muslim due to his turban. Roque claimed it was retaliation for the attacks in New York.
Jose Padilla - Padilla was arrested in Chicago on May 8, 2002 on suspicion of plotting a radioactive "dirty bomb" attack.
Adam Gadahn - an American senior operative, cultural interpreter, spokesman and media advisor for the terrorist group Al-Qaeda
June 1, Little Rock, Arkansas: Abdulhakim Muhammed, a Muslim convert from Memphis, Tennessee, is charged with shooting two soldiers outside a military recruiting center
George Sodini - The 2009 Collier Township shooting, also referred to as the 2009 LA Fitness shooting, was a murder-suicide that took place on August 4, 2009 in an LA Fitness health club in Collier Township, a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The attack resulted in four deaths, including that of the perpetrator who took his own life. Nine other people were injured.
Sodini is reported to have left a note along inside the gym bag stating his hatred for women.
Virginia Tech Shooting - The Virginia Tech massacre was a school shooting that took place on Monday, April 16, 2007 on the campus of Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. In two separate attacks, approximately two hours apart, the perpetrator, Seung-Hui Cho, killed 32 people and wounded many others before committing suicide.
Cho, a senior English major at Virginia Tech, had previously been diagnosed with a severe anxiety disorder.
In the ensuing investigation, police found a suicide note in Cho's dorm room that included comments about "rich kids", "debauchery", and "deceitful charlatans". On April 18, 2007, NBC News received a package from Cho time-stamped between the first and second shooting episodes. It contained an 1800 word manifesto, photos, and 27 digitally recorded videos, in which Cho likened himself to Jesus Christ and expressed his hatred of the wealthy.