Too Much Leniency for Terrorists

Alan Jacobson wrote in his novel, Crush, that "the goal of catching the offender before he killed on a grander scale was more important than [saving] one life." Protecting American society must be the first priority. People seem to have that attitude when threatened by a serial killer yet will deviate from it where terrorists are concerned. Although no one is calling terrorists psychopaths, do they share some of the same behavioral characteristics?

Retired Agent Mary Ellen O'Toole, Ph.D. is recognized as one of the FBI's renowned experts in the areas of criminal, violent, and aberrant behavior and authored a chapter in the book, The Psychopath: Theory, Research, and Practice. She describes some trait characteristics (although there are 21 in total) of psychopathic killers as "people who show no remorse, are callous, cunning, and are very manipulative."

The Pentagon in 2007 released this quote by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head." Compare this to O'Toole's partial assessment of serial killer Gary Ridgway, who viewed his victims as objects and never showed remorse for them.

Omar Khadr, the child terrorist, has opposed rehabilitation, including denying overtures made by the Canadian government. Recently the Obama administration plea-bargained a sentence with this child terrorist. As part of the deal, Khadr pled guilty to a number of war crimes, including the murder of an Army medic. He will be imprisoned at Gitmo for at least one more year and will probably serve out his remaining seven years in Canada, where he maintains citizenship. But Canada's parole laws could have him released in two years.

Jacobson wants a sentence to be partially based upon a behavioral analysis prepared by a profiler of those who have committed horrific murders. The psychiatrist who assessed Khadr gave very credible evidence that he was manipulative and a bigger threat today than he was eight years ago. This was never contemplated by the Obama administration in their plea-bargain deal. Khadr showed absolutely no remorse, laughed when hearing the jury sentence, and has been described by terrorism expert Thomas Joselyn as "being loyal to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and regards what he did as a badge of honor. This public relations campaign calling him a child soldier has far outweighed the reality of what he did and who he is."

Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the Beltway Snipers, also a child murderer, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He committed, along with John A. Muhammad, a three-week series of sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area. It is interesting that no one called him the "child sniper," and there is no public relations campaign to release him with little time served. Few cared about Malvo's age as long as he was not given the death sentence, according to O'Toole, in part because of the "cold blooded, predatory and lethal behavior. His defiance was frightening and offensive to people. However, Khadr appears to display the lack of remorse and callousness, which when combined, are two popping traits that you see in people that have the psychopathic Personality construct." Layne Morris, the special forces soldier blinded by Khadr and his colleagues, sees Khadr's actions on that day as manipulative and done with the "maturity, reasoning, and determination far beyond the years of a typical teenager and he never showed any remorse." Why do people call for Khadr's release, yet they do not call for a reduction in Malvo's sentence?

Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaeda leader prior to his capture, has been described as a sympathetic figure who is mentally ill. Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who interrogated Zubaydah, disagrees and emphasized that "he is probably one of the smartest terrorists I interrogated. I think he is a borderline genius." According to a former CIA operative, Zubaydah's "manipulation of history is absolutely untrue. It was reported that he was mentally and emotionally ill. That is so far from the truth that it is almost laughable." Compare this behavior to O' Toole's description of psychopathic killers as "people who are not crazy. They know right from wrong, but the rules do not apply to them."

Americans would never consider the release of a psychopathic killer, but some are reluctant to view the terrorists as a dangerous threat. Recently, Ahmed Ghailani, who became a celebrity in al-Qaeda circles after the bombings, was acquitted by a federal jury of 224 counts of murder for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Why is it that a serial killer who is a threat to American society would never be released, yet the legal system finds ways of releasing terrorists who are also a threat and often exhibit traits similar to those of pathological killers? The terrorist is an adaptive, manipulative, and determined enemy who wants to attack and kill Americans, and he should be treated as cold-blooded and dangerous.
Alan Jacobson wrote in his novel, Crush, that "the goal of catching the offender before he killed on a grander scale was more important than [saving] one life." Protecting American society must be the first priority. People seem to have that attitude when threatened by a serial killer yet will deviate from it where terrorists are concerned. Although no one is calling terrorists psychopaths, do they share some of the same behavioral characteristics?

Retired Agent Mary Ellen O'Toole, Ph.D. is recognized as one of the FBI's renowned experts in the areas of criminal, violent, and aberrant behavior and authored a chapter in the book, The Psychopath: Theory, Research, and Practice. She describes some trait characteristics (although there are 21 in total) of psychopathic killers as "people who show no remorse, are callous, cunning, and are very manipulative."

The Pentagon in 2007 released this quote by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the masterminds behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks: "I decapitated with my blessed right hand the head of the American Jew, Daniel Pearl, in the city of Karachi, Pakistan. For those who would like to confirm, there are pictures of me on the Internet holding his head." Compare this to O'Toole's partial assessment of serial killer Gary Ridgway, who viewed his victims as objects and never showed remorse for them.

Omar Khadr, the child terrorist, has opposed rehabilitation, including denying overtures made by the Canadian government. Recently the Obama administration plea-bargained a sentence with this child terrorist. As part of the deal, Khadr pled guilty to a number of war crimes, including the murder of an Army medic. He will be imprisoned at Gitmo for at least one more year and will probably serve out his remaining seven years in Canada, where he maintains citizenship. But Canada's parole laws could have him released in two years.

Jacobson wants a sentence to be partially based upon a behavioral analysis prepared by a profiler of those who have committed horrific murders. The psychiatrist who assessed Khadr gave very credible evidence that he was manipulative and a bigger threat today than he was eight years ago. This was never contemplated by the Obama administration in their plea-bargain deal. Khadr showed absolutely no remorse, laughed when hearing the jury sentence, and has been described by terrorism expert Thomas Joselyn as "being loyal to Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda and regards what he did as a badge of honor. This public relations campaign calling him a child soldier has far outweighed the reality of what he did and who he is."

Lee Boyd Malvo, one of the Beltway Snipers, also a child murderer, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He committed, along with John A. Muhammad, a three-week series of sniper attacks in the Washington, D.C. area. It is interesting that no one called him the "child sniper," and there is no public relations campaign to release him with little time served. Few cared about Malvo's age as long as he was not given the death sentence, according to O'Toole, in part because of the "cold blooded, predatory and lethal behavior. His defiance was frightening and offensive to people. However, Khadr appears to display the lack of remorse and callousness, which when combined, are two popping traits that you see in people that have the psychopathic Personality construct." Layne Morris, the special forces soldier blinded by Khadr and his colleagues, sees Khadr's actions on that day as manipulative and done with the "maturity, reasoning, and determination far beyond the years of a typical teenager and he never showed any remorse." Why do people call for Khadr's release, yet they do not call for a reduction in Malvo's sentence?

Abu Zubaydah, an al-Qaeda leader prior to his capture, has been described as a sympathetic figure who is mentally ill. Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent who interrogated Zubaydah, disagrees and emphasized that "he is probably one of the smartest terrorists I interrogated. I think he is a borderline genius." According to a former CIA operative, Zubaydah's "manipulation of history is absolutely untrue. It was reported that he was mentally and emotionally ill. That is so far from the truth that it is almost laughable." Compare this behavior to O' Toole's description of psychopathic killers as "people who are not crazy. They know right from wrong, but the rules do not apply to them."

Americans would never consider the release of a psychopathic killer, but some are reluctant to view the terrorists as a dangerous threat. Recently, Ahmed Ghailani, who became a celebrity in al-Qaeda circles after the bombings, was acquitted by a federal jury of 224 counts of murder for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Why is it that a serial killer who is a threat to American society would never be released, yet the legal system finds ways of releasing terrorists who are also a threat and often exhibit traits similar to those of pathological killers? The terrorist is an adaptive, manipulative, and determined enemy who wants to attack and kill Americans, and he should be treated as cold-blooded and dangerous.