Daniel Halliday
May 9 · Last update 3 mo. ago.

Is a terror attack still terrorism when carried out by someone with mental health problems?

On 27th April 2019 Isaiah Joel Peoples, an Iraqi War Veteran suffering from PTSD, intentionally drove his car into a crowd of people he thought to be Muslim in California. Regardless of the complex issue of sentencing in such a case how should the media go about framing such an attack? Should news reports on acts of terror where mental health problems are an obvious key issue differ from political based terror attacks? aljazeera.com/news/2019/04/man-rammed-car-pedestrians-thinking-muslim-190427082620270.html
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Terrorism is terrorism
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Care for those with mental health problems
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Psychological fine line
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Terrorism is terrorism

Terrorism is terrorism and it needs to all be addressed in the same way regardless of the underlying causes on the individual level, if someone is willing to commit mass murder in the name of some religious or political fanaticism that person has face the consequences of their actions. It would be too tempting for the mental health aspect to the played upon by guilty parties if this were the case, and be used to avoid punishment. It is not possible to stop the media from spinning stories however to sell newspapers or clicks, so is futile to try and address how this issue is viewed in the media. Instead weapons policies should be reformed in countries that are heavily restricted to give police and security services more power to act preemptively, all efforts should be put into making people safe.

bearingarms.com/tom-k/2019/01/29/gun-free-europe-starting-arm-following-terrorist-attacks independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/armed-police-numbers-rise-uk-guns-tasers-terror-attacks-federation-survey-england-wales-a7963626.html

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Daniel Halliday
Sep 3
Created

Care for those with mental health problems

People with mental health problems are not terrorists, but acts of terror carried out by those with mental health issues are a symptom of non-existent or failing mental health care systems worldwide, occurring in an era of global terrorism. The only solution to these tragic occurrences is to fix or form functional mental health care systems, and in the meantime the media should report the facts around these cases and restrain from speculation in order to minimise sensationalism. An example of this can be seen in the reporting of the Guardian, covering the case of Hassan Khalif Shire Ali, as the facts became clear regarding his mental health issues, the way in which the Guardian reported on the issues changed significantly.

10th Nov 2018: theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/10/melbourne-cbd-terror-attack-a-wake-up-call-australian-police-say 11th Nov 2018: theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/nov/11/hassan-khalif-shire-ali-deluded-and-paranoid-before-bourke-street-attack-friends-say

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Daniel Halliday
Jun 4
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Psychological fine line

Arguably under the right coercive circumstances anyone could be pushed to terrorism, and that threshold will be much lower for people with mental health problems. There is no difference between someone that is confused about their political, social or religious agenda and carries out a terror attack and someone that isn’t and attacks people based on rhetoric, dogma or a call to arms, all of these people have some sort of mental health problem. While that shouldn’t diminish their act in any way it should be factored into their punishment, rehabilitation and especially in the following approach to deter things like this from happening again. This should definitely factor into how event such as this are portrayed in the media as there is a delicate balance that can be further strained by pressuring communities and continue to alienate at-risk individuals in those communities.

theconversation.com/the-link-between-terrorism-and-mental-illness-is-complicated-and-vilifying-communities-doesnt-help-106778

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Daniel Halliday
May 9
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