Leaderless Jihad

[Washington Times] Joshua Sinai - Dr. Marc Sageman, a forensic psychiatrist and political sociologist, is also a former CIA case officer. In his important book, Leaderless Jihad: Terror Networks in the Twenty First Century, Sageman asserts that the process of radicalization depends on an individual's sense of moral outrage in response to perceived suffering by fellow Muslims around the world; how he might interpret such moral outrage within the context of a larger war against Islam; whether or not the sense of "moral outrage" resonates with one's own experience, for example, discrimination or difficulty in making it in Western society; and, finally, being mobilized by networks that take one to the next level of violent radicalization in the form of terrorist cells. To counter the social movement inspired by al-Qaeda, Sageman proposes a strategy to "take the glory and thrill out of terrorism." Military operations against them should be conducted swiftly and precisely, with such terrorists considered "common criminals." The sense of "moral outrage" by young Muslims can be diminished by helping to resolve local conflicts that al-Qaeda's propaganda highlights as injustices against the Muslim world. The young jihadists want to become heroes, so they need to be provided with alternative role models, such as Muslim soccer stars and other successful community leaders.

2008-02-22 01:00:00

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