"Let Him Burn"
A sad but riveting account of attempts by a British policeman to extinguish the fires engulfing one of the attackers at the Glasgow airport from the Sunday Mail.
One man then left the car, pouring petrol over himself, while the second ran into the terminal carrying what witnesses described as firebombs. ... "He was wearing a red and white scarf around his head and neck and only his eyes were visible. ... "He was kicking out at people and was a human fireball. Then he collapsed to the ground on all fours and we watched as he burned for fully two minutes." ...
"I watched the guy burning. He still tried to attack a policeman. I was convinced he was trying to detonate something. "He was on fire and he was still desperately trying to get into the boot. There were another two explosions. "People all around were in tears and shouting and screaming at the man to lie down. An off-duty cop was hosing him down with a fire extinguisher and other people were shouting, 'let him burn.' "He wasn't interested in being saved - he wanted to die and take all of us with him."
These are the ultimate human dilemmas. You rush up the stairs of the tallest building in New York even though you suspect that ... best not to think about it. You're a minimum wage security guard at an Israeli supermarket and you wrap your arms around a suicide bomber to keep him from coming through the door thinking in the last tenth of a second of your life: will I ever see my family again? You're an off-duty cop in Glasgow trying to put out a human torch that's still trying to kick you and reach for a detonator.
You're in a place very far from the policy debates. Distantly removed from discussions about the ethics of violence, about the doctrines of minimum force or the Geneva Conventions. You are as far from "root causes" as the Andromeda Galaxy is from the Earth. You are in fact, right in the middle of history. This is the way things happen, in the nonsense place where men are saved or lost; where victory is won or eludes. And you never know why, but know only that you must act.