Is it nature or nurture? Do you think there’s a correlation between the intelligence of a person and their choice of terrorism as a vocation?
I’m not talking here about the brilliant, twisted strategists who create the idea of the revolution. I’m talking about the mules – the new recruits who can’t wait to blow themselves up for the cause. Or shoot and kill innocent people – like the Holocaust Museum incident in 2009.
Take “The Underpants Bomber”, for example. If he REALLY wanted to blow up the plane, why didn’t he go into the bathroom and light himself up there? Why go back to his seat where it is always crowded anyway? Only one conclusion can be reached – he is stupid! He suffers from a serious flaw in his reasoning ability.
One of the most interesting films I have seen recently was done by Fareed Zakaria and which aired on HBO. It is called, “Terror in Mumbai” and Fareed narrates it.
Take the forty-five minutes needed to watch it because it is incredible and goes right to my point about terrorists being dumb.
After the Mumbai bombing attacks started, the government was able to hook up to the actual cell phones being used by the terrorists to communicate with the Big Brain Terror Leader ( also called his Controller, or Handler??) back in Pakistan. So the movie is actually the real conversations between the operatives and their Controller.
At one point, the Controller tells them to set the hotel mattresses on fire. They try but can’t get a fire going, so the Controller screams into the phone – go back and light them again.
The on-the-ground terrorists seem to have no idea of how to kill anyone, and are almost goaded into doing it by the Controller on the phone who has to explain to them what to do next, and who you hear him screaming into the phone, “Shoot him in the head”.
They seem almost like puppets and, as you watch the movie, you realize that these guys couldn’t terrorize anyone on their own. They are uneducated, unsophisticated young men who probably would have gone sightseeing if the Controller hadn’t kept a tight rein on them.
Some people think there are more of these unthinking people around than the thinking kind. I hope that isn’t true, and it really speaks to the power of education and sophistication as the best weapon we have against this sort of mindless terrorism