And find, surprise surprise, that they are motivated by religion, not by poverty — as we have illustrated here again and again. I suspect that “Scott Atram of the United States,” quoted below, is researcher Scott Atran, whose findings I discussed briefly in this article.
From AFP, with thanks to Eric:
PARIS —- Suicide bombers, such as those who attacked tourist targets in Bali last week, are driven by motives close to those of members of religious sects which are hard for outsiders to comprehend, experts said Tuesday.
“They are often young people who get together spontaneously in a desire to avenge the injustice of which they feel the Muslim world in general is the victim,” said Scott Atram of the United States, professor of psychology and anthropology at the University of Michigan and a senior researcher at the French research institution CNRS.
“A recruiter notices them and begins to indoctrinate them, to persuade them they are going to play a role in jihad (holy war), the only way to get things to move.”
At the end of the process they are conditioned, isolated, given moral support, convinced they are giving their lives for a cause greater than themselves, and capable of strapping a bomb to their bodies.
And, like the young man in a black T-shirt caught on an amateur video in Bali last Saturday, capable of walking calmly into a restaurant to kill themselves and as many ordinary people as possible.
In the case of Indonesia’s Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), believed to be behind the Bali bombings, recruiters “take young people into the jungle and give them a very special religious education,” Atram said.
“The message they give them is that there is no more important thing in life than jihad. It’s more important than prayers, than fasting, than the Hajj (pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia). And that the most noble thing in life is to die for the jihad. Then it seems perfectly normal to you.
“It’s small groups feeding on themselves: you can get people to do anything you want. It’s like a sect logic. They don’t think about the target: they just do it.
“These people don’t do it out of hate: they do it more out of love for their own group. They’re doing it because they believe they’re doing good for their people. They are usually fully compassionate people. I never came across one that was a real nutcase,” he said.