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In reference to “American jihadists; Homegrown terror plots on the rise in U.S.” (March 18), the media, populace and the military need to stop using the terms jihad and jihadist. These are terms historically and literally associated with a righteous holy war, and use of them elevates the status of those who would commit acts of terrorism against unarmed civilians for radical reasons.

By referring to a terrorist or insurgent, who is nothing more than an armed thug, as a jihadist, we give him credibility in his alleged war against the Western crusaders. They are nothing more than psychopaths who are led by extremist clerics and a perverted version of Islam. Call them what they are: criminals, terrorists, thugs.

Sgt. 1st Class Dave SpaldingForward Operating Base Bagram, Afghanistan

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