Cook: The semantics of terrorism and the quest for peace

Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez

We have been presented with absolutely zero evidence that Mohammed Youssef Abdulazeez was a terrorist.

No proof. None.

A criminal who did the worst? Yes.

photo Mohammad Youssef Abdulazeez

But a terrorist?

"There is no indication he was inspired by anyone other than himself," FBI agent Ed Reinhold said during Friday's news conference.

From the beginning, authorities have investigated Abdulazeez's violence - shooting and killing five military personnel last Thursday - as a possible act of terrorism, which was a calculated move, allowing fuller investigative powers from Washington.

Plus, in our post-9/11 world, Abdulazeez fit a convenient and easy stereotype. He was young, Muslim. He traveled to Jordan. Grew a beard. Already, in the calculus of prejudice, he seemed terroristic.