‘He Made Us Proud’: Widow Of Heroic Beirut Man Who Tackled Suicide Bomber Praises Late Husband

Adel Termos was a 32-year-old Beirut man who excelled at his mechanic job and adored his wife and two children. On November 12, Termos was a man who tackled one of two suicide bombers that killed 43 and seriously injured over 230. Termos’ widow, though she is grieving, says of her heroic husband, who was killed in the explosion, “He made us proud.”

According to CNN, Termos had stopped by a mosque for prayers after work, and the first suicide bomber attacked not far from the mosque. When he looked to see what was happening, according to his father, Akram Termos, he saw a man running down the hill screaming “Allahu akbar” — a phrase that effectively means “God is the greatest.”

“Adel ran toward him, pushing him and pinning him down on the ground, at that instant, the man (detonated) the bomb and the second explosion happened,” Akram Termos said. “(He) has made us proud, as everyone now calls him a hero and he has completed his religious duty as a martyr in the heavens.”

Previous reports said that Adel Termos’ children were also killed in the blast, but this was not the case. He is survived by his widow, Bassima Termos, and their two young children. However, CNN does report that at the time of the suicide bombings, Termos was walking with his young daughter when he saw the suicide bomber.

Beirut physician Elie Fares said that many people affected by twin blasts likely owe their survival to Termos’ bravery. In his blog, he said that Termos was probably the reason why the death toll from the suicide bombings of November 12 were not much higher.

“He is a Lebanese hero whose name should be front and center in every single (news) outlet,” he said.

Lebanon is a small Mediterranean country that has been hit with the outer edges of the conflict plaguing Syria, but had not seen any sign of conflict since mid-2014. The blasts of November 12 resulted in one of the deadliest in recent Lebanese history.

Fares noted that Termos’ tale echoes that of Abou Ali Issa, who tackled a suicide bomber in Tripoli, Libya, in January, 2015.

Termos’ widow, Bassima, says while she is grieving the loss of her husband, she and her children are grateful and proud of him.

“He made us proud, put our heads high, what more do I need?” she said, according to CNN.

In saying, “he made (us) proud,” Bassima said that her late husband has done much to ensure his legacy is secure to be passed on to generations to come. It would seem there are others who agree with that; both Bassima and her father-in-law Akram have said that Termos likely saved many more lives by preventing the second suicide bomber from entering the mosque.

News.com.au reports that the pride in Termos’ sacrifice goes beyond what family might feel. Bassima said while he made “us” proud, the sense of pride has gone well beyond immediate family members. She said that there were neighbors and even just ordinary townspeople who do not know the family who felt a real sense of pride in Termos.

“All our neighbours and the people of our town are so proud of him,” she said. “The close ones and the friends, and the strangers… everyone is proud.”

Beirut authorities have arrested 11 suspects in the wake of the suicide bombings, according to News.com.au, and seven of these suspects are Syrian. Termos reportedly took the brunt of the explosion from the second suicide bomber, thereby saving, at the very least, dozens of lives.

The significant pride no doubt mirrors the grief the Termos family feels, although Termos’ widow does say “He made us proud.” These are powerful words for a woman that, right now, may be at a loss for how to move on.

[Photo by Bilal Hussein/AP Images]