Islamic Terrorists not Poor and Illiterate, but Rich and Educated

Islamic Terrorists not Poor and Illiterate, but Rich and Educated, by Guilio Meotti. Terrorists seem to be models of successful integration, not the ones who don’t fit in as commonly depicted in the PC media. (Another PC myth in conflict with reality.)

The better young people are integrated, the greater the chance is that they radicalize. This hypothesis is supported by a lot of evidence. …

The Dutch research was followed by research from France, adding more evidence to the thesis that goes against the liberal belief that to defeat terrorism, Europe must invest in economic opportunities and social integration. Dounia Bouzar, director of the Center for Prevention, Deradicalization and Individual Monitoring (CPDSI), a French organization dealing with Islamic radicalism, studied the cases of 160 families whose children had left France to fight in Syria. Two-thirds were members of the middle class.

These findings dismantle the myth of the proletariat of terror. According to a new World Bank report, “Islamic State’s recruits are better educated than their fellow countrymen”.

Poverty and deprivation are not, as John Kerry said, “the root cause of terrorism.”

Studying the profiles of 331 recruits from an Islamic State database, the World Bank found that 69% have at least a high school education, while a quarter of them graduated from college. The vast majority of these terrorists had a job or profession before joining the Islamist organization. “The proportions of administrators but also of suicide fighters increase with education,” according to the World Bank report. “Moreover, those offering to become suicide bombers ranked on average in the more educated group.”

Less than 2% of the terrorists are illiterate. The study also points to the countries that supply ISIS with more recruits: Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Morocco, Turkey and Egypt. Examining the economic situation of these countries, researchers have discovered that “the richer the countries are the more likely will provide foreign recruits to the terrorist group.”

This follows a common pattern of political violence in the last century:

The whole history of political terror is marked by fanatics with advanced education who have declared war on their own societies. Khmer Rouge’s Communist genocide in Cambodia came out from the classrooms of the Sorbonne in Paris, where their leader, Pol Pot, studied writings of European Communists. The Red Brigades in Italy was the scheme of wealthy privileged boys and girls from the middle class. Between 1969 and 1985, terrorism in Italy killed 428 people. Fusako Shigenobu, the leader of the Japanese Red Army terrorist group, was a highly-educated specialist in literature. Abimael Guzman, founder of the Shining Path in Peru, one of the most ruthless guerrilla groups in history, taught at the University of Ayacucho, where he conceived of a war against “the democracy of empty bellies.” “Carlos the Jackal,” the most infamous terrorist in the 1970s, was the son of one of the richest lawyers in Venezuela, Jose Altagracia Ramirez. Mikel Albizu Iriarte, a leader of the Basque ETA terrorists, came from a wealthy family in San Sebastián. Sabri al-Banna, the Palestinian terrorist known to the world as “Abu Nidal,” was the son of a wealthy merchant born in Jaffa.

Some of the British terrorists who have joined the Islamic State come from wealthy families and attended the most prestigious schools in the UK. … Kafeel Ahmed, who drove a jeep full of explosives into the Glasgow airport, had been president of the Islamic Society at Queen’s University. … Zacarias Moussaoui, the twentieth man of the 9/11 attacks, had a PhD in International Economics from the London’s South Bank University. … Azahari Husin, the terrorist who prepared the bombs in Bali, studied at the University of Reading.

Britain’s MI5 revealed that “two-thirds of the British suspects have a middle-class profile and those who want to become suicide bombers are often the most educated.”

So stop educating those with ideologies prone to political violence?

Comments Robert Spencer:

This is why American initiatives to build schools and roads and provide job opportunities for Muslims are never going to work to stop jihad terror. The jihad imperative is based on Islamic teachings. Until non-Muslims confront that, their efforts to curb it will always be doomed to failure.

hat-tip Stephen Neil