Irish Teen With Tourette’s Caught On Camera Shouting “Bomb” And “I’m A Terrorist” At Belfast Airport



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In order to raise awareness about Tourette’s Syndrome, a neurological disorder characterized by involuntary movements or noises known as tics which he developed just nine months ago, 17-year-old Lewis Nickell decided to film himself going through the airport security and boarding the airplane from Belfast to Leeds while constantly shouting “bomb” and “I’m a terrorist”.

Lewis explained:

“Going to the airport is one of the trickiest things someone with Tourette’s or suffering from tics can do – for obvious reasons. People had been asking me for ages to make a video of this so when I had a flight booked to see family I thought it was perfect timing.

“My brother told the staff why we were filming and that I had Tourette’s and they treated me like any other passenger. Most people realized that I had a condition but there was a point where I shouted ‘bomb’ and I saw a woman look at me – she was mortified. There were a few people looking very worried, especially when I found myself shouting that I was a terrorist, but the staff remained calm and carried on so I think that made people relax.”

Living in Northern Ireland and not just travelling has made things difficult for Lewis:

“It’s all real and shows what anyone with my condition would go through but I don’t do it for sympathy, I don’t want people feeling sorry for me. The condition reacts to the environment I am in, so when I walk outside of my house in a very protestant area and see British flags, I find myself shouting things like “f***ing huns”. But then when I’m in a Catholic area it will change to “f***ing Catholics”.

Whenever I have to walk past a group of pretty girls, my tics are usually along the lines of “nice arse” or “you’re well fit” – which is still very embarrassing. I don’t like offending people and I know that shouting things like this is very offensive, particularly where I live. This is one of the reasons why I began making the videos.

“I had got to the point where I was too scared to go out and I couldn’t even go to the shops for fear of what I would shout. I thought that if the videos got shared around the area then people would know me and then understand it is just my Tourette’s and not my fault at all. And it is great because it worked and everyone in the area knows me now so I never have any trouble.”


His tics began as a shoulder twitch when he was 15, but they got progressively worse thereafter. Lewis spent five weeks in Ulster hospital going through various treatments and tests before doctors diagnosed him with Tourette’s on in April 2015. Although he can never be cured, he is taking anti-psychotic medication to manage his outbursts.

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