Musings —09.25.2016 08:08 AM—
As a rule, I don’t ever name terrorists, mass murderers and their ilk. They don’t deserve the recognition they seek.
But this New York Times front-page profile of the Chelsea bomber is worth your attention. What struck me – having written this book, and having written this one, coming out in the next few months – I was struck by how much Rahami reminded me of the dozens of neo-Nazi skinheads I knew and interviewed over the years.
He, like them:
- fought all the time with his family, or came from a broken one
- was disinterested in school
- had troubled relationships with the opposite sex, often involving domestic violence
- had regular run-ins with the law
- initially was enthusiastic about the society he would later pledge to destroy
The change – the transformation from unremarkable loser to front-page-news killer – always, always comes about in the same way: the young man somehow comes under the influence of an older man, who gives him a credo, a uniform, a brotherhood and a mission.
And then, like all converts, all zealots, he starts to make up for lost time.