RealNews

The Lost Generation

The London bombings put a new face on Islamic radicalism. Angry voices from a troubled community. As British police closed in on two of the alleged July 21 bombers in London, one suspect yelled out, “I’ve got rights!” That small detail speaks volumes about the evolving nature of terrorism in Europe. The cry, in English, indicated a more than passing familiarity with British law—not to mention, ironically, a full appreciation of the legal protections offered by the very society terrorists seek to destroy. It also suggests the degree to which the London bombings have turned the conventional wisdom about terrorism on its head. These jihadists weren’t struggling immigrants, materially deprived and living resentfully on the fringe. They were Britons, raised on the sceptr’d isle and living lives with prospects. In many ways, they conform to the demographic portrait sketched by forensic psychiatrist Marc Sageman, whose recent study of 400 terrorists found that 75 percent came from the middle or upper classes. A similar proportion hold professional or semi-professional jobs, and two thirds went to college. They weren’t raised in poverty or under Middle Eastern despots, but on PlayStations, Nike and the European Convention on Human Rights. Why on earth, their perplexed fellow citizens ask, would they wage war on their own countrymen? Full Story

OODA Analyst

OODA Analyst

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