A recent letter decried the use of the word "coward" to describe the actions of terrorists. Fanatic, meaning "unreasonably enthusiastic," might be a better word to describe the hijackers. They followed a leader who not only paid them extremely well, but promised them that they will spend eternity with Allah for becoming martyrs while ridding the world of western evil. How else could a leader convince 19 people to go on suicide missions?
This isn't really about "staring death in the eye," as the writer stated. It's about brainwashing impoverished people and bankrupt souls with a monetarily rich existence and then an eternity with Allah.
Their leader, however, is a coward. Osama bin Laden bribes and brainwashes people into committing heinous acts while he continues to hide. He is not the one forcing his way into the cockpit of a flying jet to further his cause in a suicide mission. A real coward has other people do that for him while he hides behind fortress walls in a secret location. "Ignoble fear" is what bin Laden embodies, or he would dare to show his face.
KAREN S. WEHN