Sunday, October 19, 2008

Terrorists Just Need Some Friends

Just read a great article by Bruce Schneier discussing a theory by Max Abrahms on why people become terrorists. Rather than political motivation, Abrahms believes

people turn to terrorism for social solidarity. He theorizes that people join terrorist organizations worldwide in order to be part of a community, much like the reason inner-city youths join gangs in the United States.
They just need to be part of a community? Guess we should get Al Qaeda members onto Facebook so they can throw turkeys at each other rather than bombs. He goes on to explain:
seven tendencies are seen in terrorist organizations all over the world, and they directly contradict the theory that terrorists are political maximizers:

Terrorists, he writes, (1) attack civilians, a policy that has a lousy track record of convincing those civilians to give the terrorists what they want; (2) treat terrorism as a first resort, not a last resort, failing to embrace nonviolent alternatives like elections; (3) don't compromise with their target country, even when those compromises are in their best interest politically; (4) have protean political platforms, which regularly, and sometimes radically, change; (5) often engage in anonymous attacks, which precludes the target countries making political concessions to them; (6) regularly attack other terrorist groups with the same political platform; and (7) resist disbanding, even when they consistently fail to achieve their political objectives or when their stated political objectives have been achieved.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'll be your friend, Mike.