Average Suicide Bomber is Rational, Educated, and Prosperous

(Sydney Morning Herald-Australia) Deborah Smith - Research on the social and psychological background of terrorists show they tend to be more prosperous and better educated than most in their societies, and no more religious or irrational than the average person. A study of Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad suicide terrorists from the late 1980s to 2003 found only 13% were from a poor background, compared with 32% of the Palestinian population in general, according to a New Scientist report. Suicide bombers were also three times more likely to have gone on to higher education than the general population, Claude Berrebi, an economist at Princeton University, found. Ariel Merare, a psychologist at Tel Aviv University, said he changed his view that most suicide bombers were mentally ill after studying the background of every suicide bomber in the Middle East since 1983.

2004-05-14 00:00:00

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