Youtube Suicide Shooter Was an Animal Rights Protester

Another act of terror burst upon us April 3, 2018 thanks to Nasim Aghdam.  Before killing herself, she invaded the Youtube campus in San Bruno, California and shot three people at random.  It turns out, she had received previous publicity with her fervor for the cause of animals.  As reported in the New York Times, Ms. Aghdam dedicated several of her videos, which she posted under a fictitious name, Nasime Sabz, to promoting animal rights, vegan diets and healthy living.  In one video, she sat in front of a screen with a rabbit, as she tried to explain in Persian the differences between vegetarianism and veganism.  Another Nasime Sabz Youtube video was a protest against killing sharks.  Her website, which said it was quoting Western news outlets, identified her as “the first Persian female vegan bodybuilder.”

Are we surprised at the apparent paradox that such a woman who was concerned with protecting animals should be eager to maim and kill human beings?  According to our studies for Profiles in Terrorism, affinity with animals is a profile trait of the terrorist.  John Brown, for example, had no compunctions against kidnapping, slitting throats and hacking to death unarmed civilians.  However, when it came to animals, he was renowned for his tenderness.  One of his careers prior to Bloody Kansas was as a shepherd.  Brown lived in an empathic relationship with his flock.  Whenever one was found near dead from a night’s cold, he would revive it by dipping in a warm bath.  Then he would carefully dry the creature with a towel.  Every aspect of sheep behavior intrigued him.  He delighted to tell of the acuteness of their hearing, of how in a flock of a thousand making a terrible din with their bleating, the youngest ewe could pick out the voice of its mother and run unerringly to her.  He maintained that sheep had as much individuality as people, and that in a flock of hundreds he could recognize a particular individual as easily as recognizing a friend in a crowd.

John Wilkes Booth, who led the terrorist conspiracy against Lincoln, Stanton, and other U.S. Government leaders, was also empathic with animals.  His sister wrote:  “He was very tender of flowers, and of insects and butterflies.  Lightning bugs he considered as ‘bearers of sacred torches,’ and would go out of his way to avoid injuring them.”  He once managed to catch a “katy-did” after nights of patient waiting and searching.  His sister was eager to make it a specimen for her collection.  “No you don’t, you bloodthirsty female,” Johnny exclaimed.  “Katy shall be free and sing tonight out in the sycamores.”  Johnny Booth could not bear to slaughter any of the livestock on the farm.  He was also unwilling to hunt or trap any of the wild animals and birds that frequented the Booth farm, looking upon them as “silent members of the family.”

While on the subject of terrorists who are animal lovers . . . it should be remembered that Adolf Hitler was a self-professed vegetarian.  Hitler in fact used vivid and gruesome descriptions of animal suffering and slaughter at the dinner table to try to dissuade his colleagues from eating meat.