|It's worth considering that we are observing in the Chattanooga shooter the same downward spiral that we see in other mass murderers, whether they shoot people in a college lecture hall, or bomb a federal building. Cultural/political factors play a role, but may not be central here. What we have is a young, alienated male, resentful that his life hasn't turned out the way he felt it should, depressed and desirous of self-annihilation, fascinated with firearms, and hoping (delusionally) to make his death more meaningful than his life had been.
"His family says Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez suffered from depression and fought a drug problem and was let go from his job and was having money difficulties and harbored suicidal thoughts.
All of which could explain why the 24-year-old might do something suicidal.
But it does not explain why he would deliberately target an armed forces recruiting center and then a Navy facility, killing four Marines and a sailor.
The reason for that is almost certainly to be found in the pair of blog posts he posted on July 13, the same date his family says he began “a three-day downward spiral” as a result of his personal problems.
In the posts, Abdulazeez describes the material world as a prison and says liberation comes only in following the example set by the disciples of the Prophet Muhammad. He notes that “every one of them fought Jihad for the sake of Allah.”
“We ask Allah to be pleased with us, reward us with Janna,” he writes at the end of the second post, “Janna” being Paradise.
Here he proves himself to be just another dupe who embraced what Islamic extremists offer as an instant solution to all your problems and disappointments.
“If he’s not a terrorist, they ought to redefine the word terrorist,” a counter-terror law enforcement official said Monday.
Most likely, Abdulazeez’s problems go back to the troubled relationship between his parents, which include allegations the mother made in court papers that she had suffered physical and sexual abuse at the hands of the father.
And surely everybody would have been better off if the family had succeeded in getting Abdulazeez into a drug rehab program, as it seems they had hoped to do.
That makes him no less a jihadi than Dylann Roof’s fractured family and drug use made him any less a white supremacist with fantasies of starting a civil war by massacring a Bible study group in a historic black church in Charleston
Extreme, violent ideologies bent on the murder of innocents are seldom havens for the well-adjusted."