Home > Conflict & Security, Europe > Inside the Minds of Killer Doctors

Inside the Minds of Killer Doctors

Juan Cole writes in Salon.com:

Counterterrorism officials have expressed astonishment that physicians and medical personnel appear to have been behind the recent terror plots involving car bombs in Britain. Physicians swear the Hippocratic oath to do no harm, and are in a caring profession aimed at healing, not killing. This puzzlement, however, betrays a lack of understanding of how members of small terrorist cells think and what motivates them. How, indeed, could a physician plan to inflict mayhem and lethal violence on club-goers or airline passengers?

Last Tuesday, a former Muslim militant, Shiraz Maher, dropped a bombshell in an interview on the BBC’s “Newsnight,” saying he had known one of the alleged perpetrators, Dr. Bilal Abdullah, a Sunni Iraqi, when Abdullah was at Cambridge. Dr. Abdullah, he said, “actively cheered the deaths of British and American troops in Iraq.” From an elite Sunni medical family, born in the U.K. but raised in Baghdad, Abdullah attended the upscale al-Mansour high school and Baghdad College. Abdullah’s family and friends have been targeted by Shiites in the past, according to recent news reports, although Abdullah reportedly had converted to the radical Salafi Jihadi form of Sunnism even before the fall of Saddam Hussein’s regime. He is alleged to have hated Shiites, whom he considered apostates. He is also said to have come under the influence, while in Iraq, of the Sunni fundamentalist cleric Sheikh Ahmad al-Kubaisi, of the Association of Muslim Scholars.

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