I work online writing this blog but spend few hours actually engaged in any sort of interaction with those whose lives is centered in chatting with people who may or may not exist in the world of the Internet. There is something strange about the process of talking with people who may or may not actually exist and sharing your intimate secrets. Mohammad Hasan Khalid was a 15 year old boy who was physically ill and decided that he wanted to become involved in the outside world. He contacted Colleen LaRose whose fictional name was, “Jihad Jane,” and these two teenagers decided to engage in the act of killing a Swedish cartoonist, Lars Vilk, who had printed a cartoon in which the head of the Prophet Muhammad had been placed on the body of a dog. Silly, yes, criminal, no. The FBI monitored the two teens as they ranted and planned a crime that never was carried into action. Jihad Jane wound up with a ten year sentence while young Khalid was just convicted and sent to jail.
His lawyer, Jeffrey Lindy, noted that Mohammad was only fifteen when he began to plot something that would nor could ever become implemented. He was engaged in Internet bravado in which young people play at being heroes or villains. As Mr. Lindy noted: “The FBI used a kid who was extraordinarily vulnerable” and they wound up ruining his life, or should we agree the boy was encouraged to ruin his life.
No invention since the birth of humanity has the potential to transform children into villains and murderers. Of course, they never murder anyone, just with their words. Off with their heads!