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The number of times that President Donald Trump and I agree can be counted on one knuckle, of one finger of one hand.

That one occasion was on Monday after the Manchester bombing atrocity. He stood behind the lectern at a press conference in Ramallah and expressed his condolences to the families of the victims of the attack. Then he went on to describe the perpetrators of such attacks as “losers.”

He refused to call them monsters. “They would like that term.” He said, “They would think that was a great name. But they are not that . They are evil losers.”

He was right, in the twisted logic of their extremist followers, vilification by the Leader of the West only justifies the rightness of their cause. But there is no right. There is no justification. There is no sane logic to strapping on a bomb belt packed with nails, nuts and bolts, marching into a music concert filled with children and blowing up yourself and dozens of others.

Manchester bomber Salman Abedi is not languishing in an oasis being fed dates by scantily-clad beautiful virgins. If there is life after death then his involves his skin perpetually blistering and melting from the heat of Hell.

But let’s go back to Trump’s speech. Abedi is a loser. I generally dislike Trump’s rhetoric. But in this instance, by using a playground taunt, he has come up with a wonderfully dismissive term for people who deserve to be dismissed. And by airily dismissing them you are saying that they do not deserve to be glorified, eulogized, honoured, lionized, celebrated or in any way emulated by anyone anywhere.

Abedi, as already stated, is a loser. A quick look at the highlights of his short life reveals that his contribution to society was virtually non-existent and—if he had lived—was likely to be even less in the future . And a look at the bombers who have carried out attacks elsewhere in the West over the past 12 months exposes the common theme.

Let’s start with the stabbing of a policeman and his partner in Maganville, France on June 13th 2016. 25-year-old Larossi Abaolli was a French citizen of Moroccan descent. Unemployed, he had a police record for theft and violence. In 2013 he had been convicted for associating with a terrorist group—Loser.

How about the Orlando night club shooting? 49 dead, 53 wounded on June 29th 2016. 29-year-old Omar Mateen was a habitual steroid user with an ambivalent sexuality. He flunked out of the Florida Police Academy and was reported to have a strange affinity with guns. His first wife described him as “mentally unstable and mentally ill”—Loser.

Then there is the Bastille Day outrage. A 19-tonne truck ploughs through a Nice crowd killing 86 people and injuring 434 on July 14th 2016. Mahammed Lahouiej Bouhlel was a Tunisian with French residency permit. His Tunisian wife (who happened to be a cousin) reported him for domestic violence and he had five prior criminal offences for threatening behaviour, violence and petty theft—Loser.

Let’s not forget the bombing in a wine bar in Ansbach, Germany. 15 people injured on July 24th 2016. Mohammad Daleel was a Syrian refugee who reached Germany in 2014 and applied for asylum. He was refused twice and twice he attempted suicide. He was under psychiatric care at the time of the bombing. Just over a week before Mohammad had been told he would be deported to Bulgaria. – Loser.

Machete attack on two policewomen in Charleoi, Belgium on August 6th 2016. Khaled Babbouri was an illegal Algerian immigrant with a criminal record. The Belgian authorities were unable to deport him because there is no Belgian-Algerian agreement to allow involuntary deportations—Loser.

There were big headlines for the car attack and stabbing on Westminister Bridge and outside the British Parliament on March 22nd 2017. 52-year-old Khalid Masood was born Adrian Russell Elms and is believed to have converted to Islam in 2005. He dropped out of school at 16 and by 18 he was a heavy cocaine user. He served two prison sentences, one for a knife attack and one for possessing an offensive weapon—Loser.

Just before the French presidential election, two policemen were shot on Champs Elysee in Paris on April 20th 2017. 39-year-old Karim Cheurfi had been recently released from prison on parole after being sentenced to 20 years for twice trying to murder police officers, once in a high-speed car chase and once when the policeman tried to relieve him of his weapon. He was under surveillance for terrorism offences when he attacked—Loser.

Manchester Arena bombing 22 killed (so far) and 59 injured, mainly children on June 22nd, 2017. Details about 22-year-old Salman Abedi are still sketchy but we know he was a university dropout; that the Imam at his mosque described him as displaying “a face of hate”. Neighbours said that he was deeply religious, withdrawn, abrasive and friendless—Loser.

These are not fine upstanding citizens who have given their lives for a great and noble cause. They are drug addicts, criminals, wife beaters, quitters, thieves, murderers and mentally unstable zealots. They are the marginalized dregs of society who hide behind religion to mask their criminal instincts. They are, as Donald Trump said, Losers.

Tom Arms is editor of


8 Comments on "Observations of an Expat: Losers"

  1. Well said. The issue is however that there seem to be any number of said “Losers” in our society and presumably also in the societies of our fellow Western nations. What is it that turns them from Losers to aspirational mass murderers of children who are prepared to give their own lives. Have they so little stake that there is little to “lose”.

    Please understand I am not seeking to excuse their malevolent behaviour in any way, I am just trying to estimate the scale of the problem faced by security services. If every loser might become a “Loser’ we are indeed in trouble.

  2. Peter Kennedy | 27th May 2017 at 10:19 am | Reply

    Tom, I believe that you may have uncovered something. After David’s piece on the Manchester bombing I posted a reply describing the terrorist as a loon (for some reason it has not been posted), but loser is an equally apt description.

    One possible explanation. Sensible people, responsible people, do not attach nail bombs to themselves and blow up a group of kids. The little voice in their head might tell them ‘hold on, something not right here’ as they mix the ingredients together. So, bearing in mind the theme of your piece, perhaps ISIS can only attract the gullible and the stupid?

    • Peter, apologies but your reply hasn’t appeared in the moderation queue. I’ll have a root around and see if it’s appeared in the SPAM folder. Sometimes our automated SPAM filter throws comments there and we don’t get chance to intercept them.

    • Yep. It was in the SPAM folder amid all the stuff that takes a week before it gets out my brain. Apologies again. These filters save us from a torrent of SPAM but, occasionally, shame us by making readers think that we don’t appreciate comments when there’s nothing further from the truth.

  3. Yes they are losers and I am sure a psychologist would have a field day looking into their mental state and and I have heard some say they have a Narcissistic personality disorder. As Sarah rightly says there appear to be any number of these “losers” prepared to be used as pawns Those who send, inspire or direct these “losers” are the real problem and the ones we have to try and reach before they are able to poison the minds of those who carry out the final murderous act. These “losers” lives are deemed as dispensable by the cowards who send them.

    I believe a form of brain washing is going on here and Peter is right when he talks of the vulnerable. We should also remember these “losers” and those who inspire them despise and hate us and are murderers.

  4. They were losers but by killing non-Muslim infidels, I imagine they will be seen as ‘winners’ in the eyes of their comrades.

  5. I think it would be great if Trump spoke directly to Baghdadi, and said something like “Why don’t you come out of whatever hole you’re hiding in and lead your pathetic ‘Caliphate’ from the front? Or are you chicken??” There’s not enough mockery of these groups, and they would surely hate to be laughed at.

  6. It is not news that these wannabe warrior Jihadis are a bunch of losers. A recurring pattern that we see here in Israel is that the people carrying out attacks are petty criminals, drug users and people who have in some way disgraced their families looking for absolution and adulation in their death as martyrs. It is a way to go from being a nobody to a somebody (and get your family a big payout from the Palestinian Authority). Especially we see women suspected by their families of illicit sexual relations attempting to stab policemen in order to get shot. Better than being murdered by you siblings. And if they don’t get killed they get automatic hero status and all their sins forgotten.

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