Slippery Slope to Terrorism

Previous posts in this series looking at Friction: How Radicalization Happens to Them and Us by Clark McCauley and Sophia Moskalenko: How Terrorists Are Made: 1 – Personal Grievance How Terrorists Are Made: 2 — Group Grievance Starting at the Top: Rejecting Violence Place: Russia Year: 1875 Adrian Mikhailov was a talented Russian orphan who … Continue reading “Slippery Slope to Terrorism”


Comparing Jewish and Islamic Terrorism

There are a number of interesting similarities between the West’s response to the anti-British terrorist campaigns of the Jewish terrorist groups Irgun and Lehi in the 1930s and 40s  and “our” response to Islamic terrorism in more recent years.  There are also obvious differences but this post is taking a look at the similarities that struck … Continue reading “Comparing Jewish and Islamic Terrorism”


Terrorism Facts #4: Personal Motives of Palestinian Suicide Bombers

Palestinian suicide bombing operations are now (hopefully) history. The last one was five years ago. It is still good (even if painful) to understand them, however. (I have certainly found much of the reading preparation for this post to be painful; sometimes I could not bring myself to repeat certain details of what I learned.) … Continue reading “Terrorism Facts #4: Personal Motives of Palestinian Suicide Bombers”


Terrorism Facts #3: Is Occupation or Religion the Better Predictor?

What does the data tell us? In 2005 Robert Pape (Dying to Win: The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism) published figures that enable us to see whether al-Qaeda terrorists were influenced primarily by their religious beliefs or the foreign occupation forces in their countries. (I earlier posted other findings of Pape’s identifying terrorist goals and … Continue reading “Terrorism Facts #3: Is Occupation or Religion the Better Predictor?”


Why Haven’t Muslims Condemned Terrorism?

And it’s not just a handful of extremists, either: it’s the legions of “moderate” enablers who, through either intimidation or cowardice, refuse to decry their co-religionists. No surprise given that the penalty for apostasy is death . . . . (Jerry Coyne accusing Muslims of not speaking out against acts of terrorism) Coyne is advertizing … Continue reading “Why Haven’t Muslims Condemned Terrorism?”


Flawed and Dangerous: The Popular Notion of “Religious Terrorism”

Available online is a Political Studies Review 2009 article “The Study of Terrorism after 11 September 2001: Problems, Challenges and Future Developments” by Richard Jackson “of Aberystwyth University”. (Professor Richard Jackson has since moved to the University of Otago so is not to be confused with the current Richard Jackson at Aberystwyth University who is … Continue reading “Flawed and Dangerous: The Popular Notion of “Religious Terrorism””


Terrorism Facts, #2: Motivations and Goals,1980 to 2001 . . .

What were terrorists doing before they discovered the USA, UK, Europe, Bali? These tables are for a particular type of terrorist attack, the suicide bombing, from 1980 to 2001, from Robert Pape’s article, “The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism”, American Political Science Review, Vol. 97, No. 3, 2003 (pp. 343-361). The same tables no doubt … Continue reading “Terrorism Facts, #2: Motivations and Goals,1980 to 2001 . . .”


Terrorism Facts, #1: How Radical Islamists Justify Killing Civilians, even Muslims

Ironically people who identify Islamic terrorists with the “true beliefs of Islam” are (unknowingly) serving as mouthpieces for those terrorists. The fact is Islamic terrorists believe they alone represent true Islam and that the vast majority of those who profess to be Muslims deserve to die. Those terrorists would love nothing more than to hear … Continue reading “Terrorism Facts, #1: How Radical Islamists Justify Killing Civilians, even Muslims”


Rome Burning – Difficulties with the Tacitus Passage

And their author seems to have gone out of his way to try to pull the wool over our eyes.  In the previous post we saw that Tacitus’s account of Nero’s persecution of the Christians is, given the ratio of number of words analyzed to the number of words published about them, this handful of … Continue reading “Rome Burning – Difficulties with the Tacitus Passage”


Why We Stopped Flogging

And I thought we were just getting nicer. Nope, the data seems to point to another reason. According to an article by Penelope Edmonds and Hamish Maxwell-Stewart, ‘The whip is a very contagious kind of thing’: flogging and humanitarian reform in penal Australia, the reasons for the declining use of flogging were complex but two … Continue reading “Why We Stopped Flogging”


Propaganda Time (Again)

It’s as if the Project for the New American Century never existed. The reason that the U.S. ever “entered” Afghanistan in the first place was that they were stunned at what happened on 9/11 and, quite understandably, like a dazed and confused giant, felt compelled to wage war on Al Qaeda and the tactic of … Continue reading “Propaganda Time (Again)”


Vridar posts delay

For anyone wondering why I have not posted anything for a little while, — I’ve been in catch-up mode. When I posted something about the Gospel of Mark in relation to Vespasian and the Serapis cult I became focused on finding more about the Serapis cult, where and when and in what modes it functioned. … Continue reading “Vridar posts delay”


Really Hoping this Professor is Wrong

Peter Neumann is in my library (The Strategy of Terrorism, Radicalized, Bluster) and I have briefly referred to his words in earlier posts (Radicalisation and On how to be completely wrong…). I’ve mostly found him to be right, though. Hope he’s wrong about the future, though.