Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Terror networks

Marc Sageman, who served with the CIA in Afghanistan, has some interesting thoughts on how to understand terror networks; he studied the biographies of 400 terrorists. He is the author of Understanding Terror Networks, published in April. A sample:

" The 400 terrorists on whom I’ve collected data were the ones who actually targeted the “far enemy,” the U.S., as opposed to their own governments. I wanted to limit myself for analytical purity to that group, to see if I could identify anything different from other terrorist movements, which were far more nationalistic.

Most people think that terrorism comes from poverty, broken families, ignorance, immaturity, lack of family or occupational responsibilities, weak minds susceptible to brainwashing - the sociopath, the criminals, the religious fanatic, or, in this country, some believe they’re just plain evil.

Taking these perceived root causes in turn, three quarters of my sample came from the upper or middle class. The vast majority—90 percent—came from caring, intact families. Sixty-three percent had gone to college, as compared with the 5-6 percent that’s usual for the third world. These are the best and brightest of their societies in many ways."

Discussions - 7 Comments

I found it interesting that the majority of terrorists in his sample had engineering or scientific backgrounds, rather than humanities or religion. I would have expected nearly the opposite.

Upon further reflection, jihad probably attracts people from all backgrounds, but former engineers and scientists may be more effective terrorists in both individual and leadership roles.

plus: islamists are yet unable to study their kind of religion and humanities in hamburg (germany); the loving relationship between these ’best and brightest’ and their Liberal apologists is tragically one sided.

Good thing Liberals are so understanding and hard to disappoint.

Haven’t we known the basic idea of this all along? The terrorists are experts at science and communications and have studied in the West with their family wealth at the same time they have a great loathing and intolerance for Western ideas of freedom, science, and rationalism. VD Hanson has been saying this for a LONG time!

About the Engineering background thing.

Traditonally, a qualification in Engineering was regarded in the 3rd world as a far better asset than a humanities one. Therefore ít´s not surprising than an eineering degree is a favourite for terrorist, as for many others there.


We have known the basic idea all along, especially those who have been tracking and attacking them since before 9/11.

The problem is not lack of evidence. The problem is that the "poverty etc." explanation is rooted in an essentially religious, completely closed and self-contained world view that is completely impervious to facts.

Until the psuedo-marxist religion is debunked, no evidence will have any effect. Sadly, the only two ways I know from history for inducing whole populations to abandon a religion are remarkably destructive.

The loans seem to be important for people, which want to start their own company. By the way, that's not really hard to get a consolidation loan.

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