London, England, still reeling from the deadly subway bombings in early July, was spared another deadly attack on their transit system when bombs failed to fully explode. The July 21st would-be bombers were wearing backpacks carrying explosives. Closed circuit television captured pictures of 27 year old Osman Hussain in the Westbourne Park subway station with the back pack. Investigators believe he was planning to blow up a train near the Shepherd’s Bush station in West London. But the bombs failed to fully detonate.
Scotland Yard intercepted at that location a cell phone call, made on a phone owned by someone in Rome. The Italian police were notified. The location of that cellphone was monitored. The phone was in London for a few days after the failed bombing; then it moved to Paris. According to Italian authorities, the phone then moved to Milan, next to Bologna and then finally to Hussain’s brother’s apartment in Rome. (1)
Italian Police went to the apartment and arrested Hussain with his cellphone. Apparently Hussain was calm and coherent when he was interrogated by police. His court-appointed lawyer said her client does not consider himself a
terrorist. He said: “We didn’t want to kill, just sow terror.” (2)
I think it would be hard to convince Londoners that someone carry a backpack with explosives that failed to properly detonate, was not in fact a terrorist – just someone wanting to sow terror. How many seeds of terror would one have to sow before being labeled a terrorist? Most of us would conclude that Osman Hussain is splitting hairs and trying
to make a fine distinction between the act and the desire. Even if we could intellectually agree with his reasoning, I think we would be dreadfully worried if we saw him boarding our subway in the future with a backpack strapped to his shoulders.
As ridiculous as his reasoning may seem to us, there is something very similar that is all too common yet people every day rationalize it in their minds. “Sure, I sow a few sins here and there – but I resent the fact the Bible labels
me a sinner.” I have talked to so many people who readily confess to occasional sins but totally reject the fact that they are sinners!
Why do terrorists strap bombs to their backs that later explode and kill people and often kill themselves? Because first of all they are terrorists in their hearts. Those thoughts and that mindset, lead people to build their explosives and eventually act out what is within their heart.
Why do people sin? Because they are sinners. You don’t have to go out there and commit more sins before you become an official sinner. No, the Bible plainly says that we do the things we do because of what we are. How many apples does a tree have to produce before it is classified an apple tree?
People who are fairly confident they live a reasonably good life do not think they need Christ to save them. The reality is Christ died for what we are and what we have done. 1 Timothy 1:15 says: This is a trustworthy statement
and worthy to be accepted by all, that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”
Just recently a lady and her husband stopped at a Bible display at an Exhibition. One of the many Bible verses on display was: “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” The moment her eyes spotted that verse, she said loud enough for several of us to hear: “That’s what I need!” We asked: “Why would you say that?” Her simple response was: “Because that’s what I am.”
Have you ever acknowledged to God that you are not just someone who has sowed a few sins, but that you are in fact a sinner. Agreeing with God that you are a sinner is called repentance. Have you ever repented? God is waiting for you to agree with Him. Jesus said: “Except you repent you shall perish.” Luke 13:3 Without repentance, you will never be in God’s Heaven.
(2) The Chronicle Herald, July 31, 2005, London Bombing Suspect Says Attacks Were not Intended to Kill, AP, p. A8