The same week that victims of alleged Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan [“Terrorism at Ft. Hood,” op-ed, Aug. 8] complained that the Defense Department was classifying the mass shooting as workplace violence rather than terrorism, I received the latest issue of the academic publicationHomicide Studies. An article by criminologist Adam Lankford compared “suicide terrorists” to rampage, workplace and school shooters, who also generally conclude their violence with suicide attempts. Maj. Hasan’s alleged mass murder qualified for the “suicide” part of the description based on a pre-attack Internet post that announced his plan to die. The article classified the Fort Hood shooting as terrorism based on the FBI’s definition of terrorism as “unlawful use of force or violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a Government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.” Perhaps the Defense Department should accept the view of its Justice Department colleagues.
Paul H. Blackman, Arlington