The face of a terrorist.
Before going any further, here's some background on the crimes committed by this terrorist:
Of the bombings committed by Rudolph, the most notoriety came from the Centennial Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta on July 27, 1996, during the 1996 Summer Olympics. The blast killed Alice Hawthorne and wounded 111 others. Melih Uzunyol, a Turkish cameraman who ran to the scene following the blast, died of a heart attack.
Rudolph has also confessed to the bombings of an abortion clinic in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs on January 16, 1997, a gay and lesbian nightclub, the Otherside Lounge, in Atlanta on February 21, 1997, injuring five, and an abortion clinic in Birmingham, Alabama on January 29, 1998, killing Robert Sanderson and critically injuring Emily Lyons. Rudolph's bombs were made of dynamite surrounded by nails which acted as shrapnel, increasing the destructive power of the bombs. The use of two bombs is a common terrorist tactic: the second bomb is timed to target those responding to the first explosion.
Well, here's an excerpt from the American newspaper The New York Times, describing him facing justice for his horrendous crimes:
Victims Have Say as Birmingham Bomber Is Sentenced
By SHAILA DEWAN
Published: July 19, 2005
BIRMINGHAM, Ala., July 18 - It was Emily Lyons's first chance to address Eric R. Rudolph, the bomber whose attack on an abortion clinic here in 1998 left her half-blind and maimed. And she had plenty to say.
Ms. Lyons, who had been the director of nursing at the New Woman All Women Health Care clinic, called Mr. Rudolph a coward for making a plea deal to avoid the death penalty, and said, pointedly, that the clinics he bombed were still in operation today and that his attack had transformed her into a public figure who had raised thousands of dollars for abortion services.
And she told Mr. Rudolph at his sentencing Monday morning in Federal District Court, "I have more guts in my broken little finger than you have in your whole body."
Mr. Rudolph, who pleaded guilty in April to the Birmingham bombing and three bombings in Atlanta, was sentenced to two life sentences without parole for the Birmingham bombing. Judge C. Lynwood Smith ordered him to pay $1.2 million restitution to the victims, though he acknowledged that Mr. Rudolph had no financial resources. In August, Mr. Rudolph will be sentenced to two more life terms in Atlanta for attacks on another abortion clinic and a gay club and at the 1996 Olympics.
Perhaps a little disconcerting was that Prosecutors, rather than sending this guy to dry out in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo Bay, chose to deal with this as a criminal case. Even worse, Prosecutors chose to negotiate with this terrorist:
Prosecutors had agreed not to seek the death penalty if Mr. Rudolph helped them recover more than 250 pounds of explosives he had hidden in western North Carolina, buried in the wilderness where he had taken cover while in hiding. Officials announced the deal in April, after law enforcement agents recovered the explosives.
Also very scary is the fact that, as shown in the following excerpt, Rudolph was able to obtain the ingredients for this bomb in a local Wal-Mart store. Also kind of creepy is the fact he wrote 'bomb' in his Bible:
Ms. Lyons, who has been vocal in her disappointment that Mr. Rudolph would not face capital punishment, read a seven-page statement recounting the many ways in which he had worked against himself: he saved the receipt for bombing components bought at Wal-Mart; he left explosive residue all over his trailer; he failed to notice that his intended target in Birmingham, the doctor providing abortions, did not use the clinic's front door; he left the bomb in plain sight instead of hiding it in the bushes; he wrote the word "bomb" in the margin of his Bible; and, ultimately, he failed to stop women from obtaining abortions.
Fundementalists like Rudolph, who hijack a religion of peace and compassion and use it to further a violent agenda of hate - to put it bluntly - piss me off. These people do not represent Christianity, its values and morals, and its spirit of compassion. As you can see, this terrorist didn't achieve his end goal, and we must make sure he doesn't. As you may recall, a few days ago I wrote the following (about people like Rudolph) right here on the AmishThrasher:
The real enemy, both for compassionate people of faith and secular Humanists alike are those who try to hijack religion to push for radical, destructive agendas. Personally, it makes me thoroughly sick when I hear someone use religion as an excuse for racism; especially when it cuts against the fundamental message of their religion. Unfortunately, even within Australia, there are numerous so-called 'religious' groups actively trying to recruit people to their hateful cause. Such groups don't put their effort into social justice, but rather they actively undermine it. The goal of such wackos is to further their agendas of personal power, wealth, and hatred. And unfortunately, both in Australia and abroad, they seem to be growing in power, while giving people of good faith a bad name.
The first thing authorities in the US should do is track down this extremist 'Christian Identity' group, and all those who support it or give it comfort, and bring them to justice. Meanwhile, here in Australia we need to seek out Fundementalist Christian groups and cults which seek a similar agenda and seek to use similar tactics, and bring those groups to justice. Like any terrorist groups, they need to be thoroughly infiltrated - top to bottom - by intelligence and law enforcement officials, neutralised, and its members bought to justice. We must apply a post September 11th mindset to all religious extremism, and crack down on all these groups.
Like any terrorist group, we need to find out what it is about this group, which makes it alluring to recruits. What makes people turn out like this terrorist,
And finally, all of us who believe in social justice and humanity - whether actively religious, or aethiest - must unite. For those of us who are actively religious, we need to reclaim the name of religion in the name of peace and justice from those religious wackos of all stripes - be they Islamic extremists, or other groups like Christian Identity or the Klan - who seek to use it to propogate hate. And it is up to us to set an example of social justice, progress, human rights, and compassion. To unite and work together to build and strengthen the cause of social justice in Australia and the world, against the thugs and wreckers who seek to undermine and attack it.
We must not give in to terrorists like Rudolph.