“Your son died as a martyr” text to a mom reveals third Bataclan attacker

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A mother in northeast France received a text from a phone traced to Syria: “Your son died as a martyr Nov. 13.”

So the surveillance system does work!!! Intelligence intercepted a message that helped stop terrorists!!! Yay!!!

That mom went to the police.

Oh, OK. So it turns out he was identified because most people of most political and religious persuasions consider these acts abhorrent.

So far, all of the identified Paris attackers were Europeans trained by Islamic State extremists.

Still, lets go kick some refugees anyway, who’s with me?


To know your child is a mass murderer ("martyr " is such a cop out euphemism). It would be failure and loss and guilt and everything. The greatest thing in your life turns out to be the worst thing in the world. Argh.


I think about this every mass shooting. What if one of my kids was the shooter? What would I say? What would I do? Nothing can bring those people back. I think it would break me. The thought that my choice to have unprotected sex would lead to a series of events decades later ending in one of these mass killings. How do you move on from that?


Do you have kids?
It’s rather deeper than that. You invest so much of your soul into them. You wish them to be all the things you ought to be. Smarter, kinder, more beautiful. It is important at a genetic level.


In a multi-input chaotic system this counts as only a minor contribution. Nobody has full control over so many variables over so long time.

It could be worse. It could be a high-positioned politician who voted for a war. These are responsible for hundreds of thousands deaths, sometimes even millions, and the entire refugee crises. Suicidal attackers, in turn, are happy when they rack up a hundred, and their disruptive effect is rather minuscule.

There are big potatoes. And there are small potatoes waved at us to forget the big ones.


I have 2 kids in their 20’s. I agree there would be much more going on mentally and emotionally than I can even imagine right now. I just posted the first thought I always have after a mass shooting as they dig into the person’s history.


That is very logical. But I think a situation like this would be a time that emotion would drown out the logic. At least at first. Every parenting choice I ever made would be up for question. Was I too strict? Was I too lax? Should I have done this instead of that? Were there signs that I missed. Could I have stopped this? And ultimately, even in a very chaotic system, regardless of the other external actors, I put this person into the game. I guess what I am getting at is that our actions have ripple effects. Butterfly yada yada… Normally, it is pretty hard to see the results of small actions over many decades. When a child goes on mass killing spree, that is time when I think most people would suddenly look for causal links between their parenting choices and this final outcome.

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Looks intense.

It’s amazing.

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You are not wrong.
Yet, what are Europeans?
If you accepted citizenship to Israel and then committed a mass shooting for a religion of your choice, would you be a Middle Eastern terrorist?

Meh - labels are good for generalizations, but never all inclusive.

A white person born in Africa who now lives in America would be African-American as well.

One of the palest redheads I ever knew was from South Africa.

She was here for almost two years before she realized she wasn’t supposed to check the ‘African American’ box.


No. An immigrant to the U.S. from Africa, no matter the skin tone, would be African. Obama’s father was not an African-American.

Being born and growing up black in the U.S. is a unique experience. That’s what the term African-American signifies.


So a 2nd generation Somali in American is still just an African? The culture and experiences will probably differ greatly than someone who is black whose family has been in the user for hundreds of years.

How about the other hyphenated labels?

As I said, “Labels are good for generalizations, but never all inclusive.”


@chgoliz just mentions migrants, so not necessarily second generation. Obama was born and raised in the US (mostly, anyhow) and is an African American.

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It’s the same, although in most cases with a much shorter historical period of overt prejudice. Irish-Americans were born in the U.S. but trace their family back to Ireland. Italian-Americans, ditto. Chinese-, Korean- and Japanese-Americans, yup.

The only exception – and it kind of isn’t, because there are virtually NO members of this group with no admixture of immigrant ancestry at all – is Native-Americans.

Also, what @Mindysan33 said (as always!).

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In response to both!

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See, I think that just proves my point that it’s a poor, inconsistent label. And while you are attempting to quantify what does and does not qualify, I don’t think there is any sort of official criteria. If Obama’s dad had stayed in America for 30 years, I think one could argue the label would apply.

Websters says:

So TECHNICALLY, you could include a white African, or a person born in Africa but immigrated to America. I agree we generally mean black Americans who have been here for generations, but the label has plasticity as to who identifies with that label.

I still stand on “labels are good for generalizations, but never all inclusive”.

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