Media Blog

He wouldn’t be the first doctor to commit mass murder

Some commentators on television are expressing amazement that the army major, Nidal Malik Hasan, suspected of murdering 12 and wounding 31 at Fort Hood in Texas today was a doctor of many years standing. It is too early to tell whether this is an act of domestic terrorism but if it is we should not be surprised that the shooter was a doctor.

As I happened to write earlier this week, doctors have a long history of playing keys roles in terrorist movements. Among them, Al-Qaeda’s number 2 and (terror) operations chief, Egyptian-born Ayman al-Zawahiri, who is a qualified surgeon; Dr. Abd al-Aziz Rantissi the mastermind behind Hamas suicide bombings; and Dr. George Habash, the leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP), the instigator of many airline hijackings in the late 1960s and 1970s, and responsible for the deaths of dozens of passengers. Scroll down to items 4 (and 3) here for more details of these cases.

There have been many other examples too, including several Palestinian suicide bombers and the British Muslim doctors who carried out an attempted suicide attack at Glasgow airport in Scotland two years ago.

Tom GrossTom Gross is a former Middle East correspondent for the London Sunday Telegraph and the New York Daily News.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

What Will Trump Do?

R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a matter of pure self-interested calculation, I would expect Donald Trump to try to get a new Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election. That will provide exactly the kind of galvanizing fight that he thrives on, and he has more to gain from giving Republicans something ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What Will Trump Do?

R.I.P. Ruth Bader Ginsburg. As a matter of pure self-interested calculation, I would expect Donald Trump to try to get a new Supreme Court justice confirmed before the election. That will provide exactly the kind of galvanizing fight that he thrives on, and he has more to gain from giving Republicans something ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Barr Is Right About the Prosecution Power

Attorney General Bill Barr gave a speech at Hillsdale College on Wednesday that attracted a lot of attention. Much of that attention was for his ill-considered remark (in a question-and-answer session following the speech) that "Other than slavery, which was a different kind of restraint, [the pandemic lockdowns ... Read More
Education

Why Does the Left Hate the Humanities?

Now, while everyone is looking towards science to put right all that’s wrong with the world, it is time to call on the Humanities. To be conservative often consists in being a party pooper. It is not that we enjoy being naysayers, it is just that the world insists on conspiring against all that is good and ... Read More
Education

Why Does the Left Hate the Humanities?

Now, while everyone is looking towards science to put right all that’s wrong with the world, it is time to call on the Humanities. To be conservative often consists in being a party pooper. It is not that we enjoy being naysayers, it is just that the world insists on conspiring against all that is good and ... Read More