Beirut Father Sacrifices Himself In Twin Suicide Bombings, Saving Hundreds

The story of terrorism that isn't being told.

A week ago, Adel Termos was not known to much of his country. Now, he is a hero. 

The Beirut, Lebanon resident was walking with his daughter last Thursday when the first of two suicide bombs was detonated in the nation's capital. Termos, like many of the people there, gathered around the site of the bomb to investigate the carnage and aftermath. But while onlookers stood solemnly staring at the carnage, Termos noticed a second bomber approaching the scene. 

"Adel Termos saw him, pushed him and tackled him to the ground," blogger and physician Elie Fares, who lives in Beirut, said. "Causing the second suicide bomber to detonate himself, killing Adel instantly but saving hundreds of lives possibly. Adel's daughter also died in the process."

As opposed to in times past, Fares says this week Termos is being remembered — the country is memorializing him not just online, but by talking about him at work and holding candlelight vigils. 

Similarly to the attacks in Paris, ISIS has taken responsibility for the two suicide bombs that took an estimated 45 lives

"The street is still divided by political and sectarian lines, but this time around the sense is that these are people, period," Fares said. "They're dead because of something they had absolutely no role in ... They died because of some demented, twisted politics."

One response to those that died in Lebanon has been to call them martyrs, which implies that they died for a cause they cared about. But Fares objected to that description in his interview with PRI

"They're not people who chose to die for a cause, they're not people who went to that street knowing that they would die," Fares added. "Calling them martyrs is a sort of Lebanese way to not only dehumanize them, it's to sort of make ourselves feel better that, yeah, it's okay, they died, but they're martyrs which means they're in heaven and they're in a better place."

You can listen to the full interview here:

Cover image via Spencer Platt/Getty Images.