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Who Becomes a Terrorist Today?

Abstract : Since the invasion of Iraq, and with the rapid spread of Internet access, the world has witnessed a more egalitarian, less-educated and -materially well off, and more socially marginalized wave of would-be jihadi martyrs. Although millions of people support violent jihad, very few are willing to do it. Those who do pursue violent jihad usually emerge in small groups of action-oriented friends. They come from the same neighborhood and interact during activities, such as soccer or paintball. Often they become camping and hiking companions who learn to take care of one another under trying conditions, which causes them to become even more deeply attached. Increasingly, they may first meet in a chat room where the anonymity of the World Wide Web paradoxically helps to forge intimate emotional ties among people who might otherwise physically intimidate or put off one another. They learn to live in a parallel universe ─ a conceptually closed community of comrades bound to a cause ─ which they mistake for the world.
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Contributor : Scott Atran <>
Submitted on : Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 8:16:10 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 9:58:02 AM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, December 1, 2016 - 2:06:52 PM


  • HAL Id : ijn_00505183, version 1



Scott Atran. Who Becomes a Terrorist Today?. Perspectives on Terrorism, 2008, 2 (5), pp.000. ⟨ijn_00505183⟩



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