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Rich Suicide Bombers

Novelty is the new numbers
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Most suicide bombers probably do it not for the cause, but because they either don't have much to lose, or, by becoming recognized martyrs, they can set up their destitute families.

While this is better than having no suicide bombs whatsoever, and the media lacks the critical skills to point the class bias out, it is painfully obvious that they would not be doing it if they were well to do.

If the wealthy terrorists (should there be any) step up the the suicide bombing plate, we will have a different ballgame. Imagine if Bill Gates blew himself up in the capital and left a manifesto up on Microsoft.com. Would there be any doubt as to what he was trying to say?

fishboner, Aug 14 2011

MIT study on Suicide Bomber's motivations http://docs.google....Lp_rtULfCXSYw&pli=1
Apparently, a wealthy suicide bomber has failed to materialize. [fishboner, Aug 14 2011]


       Hmm, evidence? Not saying you have none but i'm interested in knowing if it exists.   

       The reason i say this is that it seems to me that there would be a correlation between wealth and the kind of opinion which leads to suicide bombing, because the idea that suicide bombing achieves the political aim for which it's ostensibly pursued is not obvious, and because it's not obvious it would seem to me that it's evidence of extensive thought and strategising in a manner which is out of touch with the way people who have not pursued education extensively perceive reality. Since education correlates with an increased income, it would seem that wealthy people are more likely to kill themselves with this motivation.   

       Having said that, i'm sure there are many people whose lower state of ignorance or frustration at their poverty leads them to pursue such forms of expression or renders them vulnerable to being convinced that this would be a good thing to do.   

       So i don't know.
nineteenthly, Aug 14 2011

       There clearly have been wealthy individuals involved in organisations widely regarded as terrorist, one example being Osama bin Laden. Patty Hearst also comes pretty close.
nineteenthly, Aug 14 2011

       The MIT study as well as others strongly suggest that there is no consistent unifying demographic in the backgrounds of known terrorist individuals, other than the fact that most willing perpetrators of suicide bombings (as distinguished from other forms of terrorist attacks such as hostage-taking, shooting sprees, remote bombings, etc.) do not come from poverty.
Alterother, Aug 14 2011

       //do not come from poverty// Disturbing. That suggests that the best defense is keeping everyone else poor. Or that efforts to raise living standards in poor countries are a security threat to the wealthier ones.
mouseposture, Aug 14 2011

       Please note that that particular statistic only applies to willing suicide bombers. If we use that as our basis for strategy, keeping people poor wouldn't stop shootings, conventional bombings, hijacking, hostage bombings, chemical or biological attacks, or any of the other nasty things these idiots come up with.   

       Although I have to admit, I sometimes find their lack of creativity surprising. I guess I just have that kind of mind.
Alterother, Aug 14 2011

       // wouldn't stop ... hijacking //   

       It would if they're too poor to buy an airline ticket.   

       // I sometimes find their lack of creativity surprising //   

       Surprising, but reassuring, because it makes them somewhat easier to counter; let's hope that they continue to climb up out of the trenches when the whistle blows, and walk slowly and steadily towards the enemy machine guns.   

       Most terrorist/insurgency movements (that aren't backed by a government with a competent military) display a gratifying lack of competence.   

       It is useful to contrast the performance of the Maquis* and the Yugoslav Partisans during WWII, who caused the Axis powers a substantial amount of embuggerance, with the woeful performance of many subsequent "terrorist" organizations, who have - relatively speaking - had relatively minimal impact (compared to more than doubling the time it took to move an armored division from Southern to Northern france), and have achieved little or nothing of their stated aims.   

       *Despite being french, the Maquis achieved this because they were supplied, trained and organized by the British. The french could never have managed it on their own.
8th of 7, Aug 14 2011

       from the article:   

       "Whether one lands in a social group with jihadi tendencies may be random. But the prerequisite for this path is perceived injustice."
fishboner, Aug 15 2011

       I'm just saying, if I can think of really much nastier shit that they could pull, why can't one of them think of it? I'm certainly very glad that they don't, but it seems unlikely that anyone resourceful enough to put together one of the really high-profile ones (9/11, Madrid, London, for recent examples) should be at least half as deviantly creative as I am.
Alterother, Aug 15 2011

       [marked-for-deletion] WIBNI
hippo, Aug 15 2011

       Well put.
Alterother, Aug 15 2011


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