‘Western jihadists find their way to violence many different ways, but they often match a profile. And that profile fit John like a wet suit. He came from an upper-middle-class family. He squandered opportunities commensurate with his innate talent; he recognized that he would not excel in the fields chosen or glorified by his parents and authority figures. Often, a personal crisis—a death in the family, a near-death experience of one’s own—triggers existential contemplation, leading to religious exploration; in John’s case, his childhood frailty might have filled that role.’
Well done. Likely worth your time.
About that ‘upper-middle class’ part…it may be more broadly applicable:
Perhaps due to an incoming American administration less favorably ideologically aligned with those making decisions at media outlets, we’ll get more vocal notice of the same problems.
Which map are you using to understand this conflict?: From The American Interest Online: Francis Fukuyama On Samuel Huntington
al-Zawahiri’s Egypt, a good backstory: Lawrence Wright At The New Yorker: ‘The Man Behind Bin Laden’
Michael Moynihan jihad.com.
Link sent in by a reader to Alexander Hitchens essay: As American As Apple Pie: How Anwar al-Awlaki Became The Face Of Western Jihad
Paul Berman At The New Republic: ‘From September 11 to the Arab Spring: Do Ideas Matter?’…From Foreign Affairs: ‘Al Qaeda After Attiyya’….From The AP: ‘Al-Awlaki: From Voice For Jihad To Al-Qaida Figure’