Details are beginning to surface about Ahmad Rahami, the suspect who is accused of planting explosives in New York and New Jersey this weekend, and was subsequently arrested following a shootout with police on Monday.
Those details include the fact that his friends and associates said he became a “completely different person” following a trip to Pakistan in 2011, as well as the more intriguing revelation that FBI officials investigated Rahami two years ago after his father informed police of his possible terrorist ties.
The explosions, plus the ensuing manhunt, is obviously a story that has dominated headlines the last few days.
And it’s understandable why that is. Anytime there’s a semblance of a terrorist threat in New York City, it immediately invokes memories of 9/11.
But we have to remember that this was actually a pretty slipshod terrorist attempt. Of the four known explosives that are linked to Rahami, only two actually detonated the way they were meant to. And even so, they didn’t kill anyone.
That’s certainly not to imply that 29 injured people is insignificant, but as far as terrorist attacks go, this was on the tamer side. It was not the work of a calculated or sophisticated terrorist cell.
Furthermore, given the incredible job by law enforcement to connect all the clues to Rahami in short order, this ordeal should teach us that we are stronger when we are together.
When times get rough, be vigilant. Be alert. Help one another and don’t let fear take hold. This is a prime example of that and something we can build off.
But anyway, I want to move on to something that I feel more people should know about. A story of an athlete who shoved aside personal glory to come to his brother’s aid.
It was at a triathlon in Mexico on Sunday during the final race of the World Triathlon Series. As the competitors sprinted toward the finish line, the race leader, Jonny Brownlee, of Great Britain, suddenly started showing the extreme effects of dehydration.
He stumbled over to a water station, where he was on the verge of passing out. Behind him, the next two runners turned the corner. One of them was Henri Schoeman, of South Africa, and the other was Jonny’s brother, Alistair Brownlee.
Without a sliver of hesitation, Alistar immediately ran to his brother, wrapped his arm around him, and ushered him to the finish line. The South African won the race, but Jonny and Alistair finished second and third, respectively. As soon as they crossed the finish line, Jonny collapsed and was admitted to a hospital.
If you watch the video embedded in the link above, you’ll see that Jonny never would have finished the race if not for his brother.
If that doesn’t make you feel good, I don’t know what will. It brings back memories of the Nikki Hamblin and Abbey D’Agostino moment at this year’s Olympics, and it’s occurrences like these that remind us what it means to be human.
Winning a race is a wonderful personal accomplishment, but putting everything aside in the name of love and respect — that’s a moment that will leave your mark on this world forever.
Your own personal moment may not be caught on camera, or publicized in the media — but it doesn’t mean your acts of kindness aren’t doing their part to make this world a better place.