Firstly, in general, the terrorism thing isn’t anomalous. The fallen human spirit is given to such things if not brought into humble thanksgiving for merciful redemption wrought in justice. “Never again!” is a cri de cœur which must be placed in the context that all of us can do the same thing, given the circumstances in life, given whatever state of one’s soul.
Secondly, the Commissioner was right to ask with great cynicism: “What’s a typical terrorist look like?” The elder brother shaved his beard for the event while the younger brother had no beard to speak of, right? Beards are typical of terrorists, right? Sigh.
Thirdly, the Commissioner got it right again in a self-correction, saying that they all passed over considering the elder terrorist who was already on a watch list because they all knew that he was a coward. Here’s the deal: all terrorists are cowards, they always and only go after soft targets, babies, children, unsuspecting and unprepared adults.
On this last point… if you want to profile a terrorist, look for the coward, for the one who goes along with peer pressure, political correctness, never standing up for what is right even when under no pressure at all, always taking the path of the lowest common denominator of niceness in his own eyes. The raging bull underneath is always there in all the niceness that can be mustered.
From Psalm 22, cited by Jesus on the cross, when all hell of cowardice broke out on Calvary:
My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them. To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: “You relied on the LORD — let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you.” Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother’s breast. Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God. Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me….
It’s most worthwhile – unto eternity – to look up and read the rest of that psalm in a quiet moment, noting the filial devotion of the one being put to death before God the Father.