|Aftermath of today's suicide bomb [Image Source]|
Two people were feared dead and two others seriously injured after a man apparently set himself on fire aboard a moving shinkansen bullet train in Japan on Tuesday (Jun 30)... The Yomiuri Shimbun daily said a blast was heard from a toilet stall... Media reported that the driver of the train found the still-burning body of a man after the emergency stop. Kanagawa police have confirmed that the man who set himself on fire has died. The train - a super-fast Nozomi bullet train - was travelling from Tokyo towards Osaka, reportedly with around 1,000 passengers on board, when the fire broke out near Odawara, southwest of Tokyo.A blast, a suicide, bad outcomes for innocent people. This person is a suicide bomber.
|Aftermath of a human bomb attack, 2001 [Image Source]|
The death of the killer is incidental to him or her, a matter of indifference.
The intention is to kill. The person doing the killing is indifferent to the personal outcome for himself or herself, for reasons that are worth understanding but come down to this: the killing is the reason and the death of the killer is an incidental outcome about which the perpetrators (and those who facilitated the killing) are indifferent.
This has significance. Though "suicide bomber" is used constantly in the mainstream media almost always inaccurately and usually misleadingly, what they are in reality describing is a human bomb and a human bomb attack.
To the extent suicide is perceived as connoting (to whatever extent) something selfless, we ought to reject its use to describe highly motivated killers. They are bombs. Civilized societies that are aware a bomb is heading towards them have ways of defending themselves and dealing with the threat.
What we call them matters.