Cyclists Claimed Evil Was 'Make-Believe,' Killed In Trip Through ISIS Territory

Americans Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan were murdered in an ISIS-claimed attack in Tajikistan on July 29.

Khatlon Oblast, Tajikistan – An idealistic District of Columbia couple, who embarked on a bicycle trip through Africa, Europe and Asia with the belief that evil was “make-believe concept,” was murdered in an ISIS-claimed attack on July 29 (video below).

The attack occurred on day 369 of their journey.

Jay Austin and his girlfriend, Lauren Geoghegan, both 29, were riding with a small group of five other tourists on a rural stretch of road in southwestern Tajikistan, The New York Times reported.

Although the U.S. State Department travel advisory for the area was at the lowest level on that day, the predominantly Muslim region borders Afghanistan, which has been designated as a “do not travel” area by the State Department, The Washington Post reported.

The area is generally safe for Western tourists, but is still “very much a dysfunctional state” with many corrupt border officials, a repressive central government, and a severely economically disadvantaged population, Paul Stronski, a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace told The Washington Post.

A brief cell phone video showed a Daewoo sedan as it passed by the cyclists. The vehicle suddenly made a sharp U-turn, then headed back towards the group before it slammed into them.

After running over the riders and their bikes, the five terrorists jumped out of the vehicle and stabbed the victims before fleeing the scene, CBS News reported.

In addition to Austin and Geoghegan, a tourist from the Netherlands and another from Switzerland were also murdered, according to The Washington Post.

The remaining three injured cyclists received medial assistance, the New York Post reported.

Tajik authorities blamed the attack on a domestic Islamic separatist group, but ISIS subsequently released a video that showed the purported attackers sitting in front of an ISIS flag as they vowed to kill “disbelievers,” The New York Times reported.

“It shows that these individuals are more than just inspired,” Seamus Hughes, the deputy director of George Washington University’s Program on Extremism told The New York Times. “They are not necessarily directed by ISIS, but they are clearly more than inspired.”

The Tajik Interior Ministry later released a statement that included photographs of four dead men accused of being involved in the attack. Several other men who were taken into custody were also shown in the statement.

According to their joint blog, Austin and Geoghegan embarked on their journey in July of 2017, after they became disillusioned with their conventional, well-paying jobs and left them behind in order to travel the world.

“There’s magic out there, in this great big beautiful world,” Austin chronicled in the Simply Cycling blog.

“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” he wrote, according to The New York Times. “I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”

Instead of using a vehicle, the pair chose to undergo their voyage by bicycle due, in part, to the “vulnerability” they were forced to experience on the bikes.

“With that vulnerability comes immense generosity: good folks who will recognize your helplessness and recognize that you need assistance in one form or another and offer it in spades,” Austin wrote.

The idealistic couple blew off the potential threats to their safety, and said they believed “evil” did not truly exist.

“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” their blog read. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.

“I don’t buy it. Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own…By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”

“No greater revelation has come from our journey than this,” Austin wrote.

You can watch cell phone footage of the ISIS-inspired terrorist attack on the cyclists in the video below:

Comments (14)
No. 1-13
ProGODProUSA
ProGODProUSA

I guess they found out a little too late that evil DOES exist.

186
186

For my next blog in Simply Cycling, will be cycling in abandoned mine fields around the world.

flagwaver
flagwaver

Ignorance and naivety are unfortunate partners for so many people who cannot see common sense Evil sees this and will feed upon it.

LEO0301
LEO0301

My goodness, they didn't need to travel half way round the world to find this out. They could have taken a quick trip through Chicago or Baltimore and the results would have been the same.

JBo
JBo

Not all people are bad and not all people are evil, but enough are that you should pay attention...and that's something you should never forget.

bluerudithor
bluerudithor

Liberals, like these 29 year old adults, so naive, so foolish, so fearless, so arrogant, so challenging, and especially............SO TRUSTING.............as in this case, make some very bad choices. The first mistake they made was to ride their bicycle on a lone stretch of road in a Muslim Terrorist country.........but hey........liberals don't see or heed danger...............because to liberals............EVERYONE in the world is.........beautiful and innocent.......no one is brutal, no one is criminal, no one is an enemy, and no one, even in a foreign country, would bother to stop and kill them........no one, until now.

HonestC
HonestC

Many liberals wear blinders. They see only a world they THINK exists. Unfortunately, it's extremely painful for them when reality rears up and smacks them in the face. A perfect example - just look at the tears and tantrums when Trump won the presidency.

LordSeamus
LordSeamus

Well well......liberal winners of a Darwin award. I hope they haven't procreated yet, we don't need more white castle in the clouds idiots in this world. We have too many as it it.

Dark_ePoch
Dark_ePoch

I bet they both had degrees from liberal colleges. We are failing our youth by not exposing them to the realities of life. Even spending a night in an ER or doing a police ride along would expose innocent youth to the realities of a world with truly evil people in it. At least they are now a posthumous examples to their ilk.

Righton17
Righton17

While the outcome is so sad, the story itself should serve as a lesson for all liberals that live in the PC bubble. Evil not only exists, it is constantly seeking out new victims. Did these kids not receive history lessons while in school. Did they not learn about the German's of the 40's and the evil they perpetrated on the Jewish people across Europe? What kind of school would let their students graduate without learning such an important lesson? Look at what it cost these two.

Righton17
Righton17

History teaches us about evil, yet liberal institutions will not allow their students the opportunity to learn this valuable lesson because the so-called teachers being liberals.

charlesjandecka
charlesjandecka

"Humans are exceedingly wicked, and foolish, too!" (GOD)

Katarina
Katarina

How very sad. They seem like basically good people, but also people who are willing to take advantage of others. With that vulnerability comes immense generosity: good folks who will recognize your helplessness and recognize that you need assistance in one form or another and offer it in spades, Austin wrote.

My other take away from this story is that there are many more naive liberals living here. Those ready and willing to leave our borders open, early release (or no incarceration at all) of criminals, etc. They may learn to appreciate Law Enforcement and the rule of law more once they experience their own families becoming victims of the increasing crime they cause by being too easy on these people. Will they feel the same after they are car-jacked, their home broken into, their young daughter (or son) stolen for sex trafficing? Once they begin to experience it first hand, it will be more wide spread and much more difficult to control. They may even wish they had one of those guns they are in such a heat to ban!