Sorry, Politicians, But Fighting Poverty Isn’t Going to Defeat Terrorism

Despite Popular Political Rhetoric, Many Terrorists Are Well Educated and Well Off

Do poverty and a lack of education produce terrorism?

That has long been a favored explanation for eruptions of terrorism. Since the September 11, 2001 attacks, a succession of global leaders—among them Tony Blair, Pope John Paul II, the Dalai Lama, Desmond Tutu, Oscar Arias Sanchez, and Elie Weisel—fastened on poverty, illiteracy, and an absence of education as “root causes” of the violent phenomenon.

“We fight against poverty because hope is an answer to terror …” President George W. Bush declared before the United Nations Financing for Development Conference in March 2002. …

More In: terrorism

The Most Overlooked Resource in Fighting Violent Extremism? Moms.

Counterterrorism Efforts Often Fail to Engage the Families of Aspiring Jihadists, Despite Their Ability and Eagerness to Help

When 19-year-old Akhor Saidakhmetov started hanging out with two older men and talking about waging jihad in Syria, his mother took away his passport. Later, when he begged to get …

Even Before Terror Struck, Brussels Was Under Attack

Austerity Cuts Launched My City's Descent Into a Constant State of Emergency

I am not a citizen of Belgium; I carry a French passport. But I am a citizen of Brussels, the most international of European cities.

This is first a matter …

Obsessing About Terrorism Is Bad for Your Mental Health

Constant Media-Induced Anxiety Can Inflict Psychological Harm

My patient, Anna, is an African-American woman in her 60s living alone in Los Angeles. She has a progressive arthritis and she walks slowly with the aid of a …

Hey, Californians: Let’s Side With the Refugees, Not the Terrorists

Our Fellow Victims of Terrorism Need a Home, and Our Home Needs Them

On a Saturday night after the terrorist attack in San Bernardino, a plastic replica hand grenade was left in the driveway of Baitus Salaam Mosque in Hawthorne, a municipality near …

My Hometown Was in Crisis Before the Terror

I Worry That Everything in San Bernardino Will Soon Go Back to Normal

There was no hashtag or meme or Facebook artwork on August 1, 2012, when San Bernardino, California, filed for bankruptcy after a long fiscal breakdown. Massive budget cuts followed. The …