Taylor Force excelled at everything he did. As a Boy Scout, he attained the highest, most difficult rank: Eagle Scout. The descendent of generations of soldiers, Force was a National Honor Society member at New Mexico Military Institute, and then went on to West Point. He served in Afghanistan and Iraq, making it home from the war zones alive and with his positive outlook intact.It's terrible that even an American army veteran now had to fall victim to what the US government's been putting up with.
But the smart and promising 28-year-old was struck down in his prime by a Palestinian terrorist’s blade on Tuesday, one of multiple stabbing attacks in Israel that resulted in a dozen police and civilian casualties. Force, in Israel to study entrepreneurship with his Vanderbilt business school classmates, was the only victim killed.
[...] Force was walking on a boardwalk in Jaffa Tuesday when a 22-year-old Palestinian terrorist stabbed him to death, part of a bloody, gruesome spree that saw Bashar Massalha stab 10 victims in three locations during a 20-minute attack. No one else from Vanderbilt was injured.
“Taylor embarked on this trip to expand his understanding of global entrepreneurship and also to share his insights and knowledge with start-ups in Israel,” Vanderbilt Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos wrote in a statement. “He exemplified the spirit of discovery, learning and service that is a hallmark of our wonderful Owen [School of Business] community. This horrific act of violence has robbed our Vanderbilt family of a young hopeful life and all of the bright promise that he held for bettering our greater world.”
The jihadist himself had been in Mecca prior to this incident:
Geographically pinned Facebook posts from February 26 through March 5 show that Massalha visited the Islamic holy cities of Mecca and Medina days before carrying out his attack.It's clear what some of the monster's influences were, and where they came from.
In his final Facebook post on March 7, apparently published from the West Bank a day before the attack, Massalha appears standing near the Kaaba in Mecca, giving a thumbs up.