RECOMMENDED READING: "Why Are So Many Would-Be Terrorists Engineers?"


Israeli scholar Emmanuel Sivan has published an article titled “Why are so many would-be terrorists engineers?” which, as many analysts have noticed, applies to much of the global Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas leaderships as well as to people such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (who also says he joined the Brotherhood at an early age). According to the article:

What links the following people: the Nigerian who wanted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 to Detroit on Christmas Day; the two Palestinians arrested at Be’er Sheva’s Central Bus Station and who are suspected of reconnoitering for a mass terror attack; Mohammed Abd al-Salam Faraj, leader of the killers of Anwar Sadat; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, planner of the attack on the Twin Towers; Mohamed Atta, who commanded the attack; and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Answer: all are engineers or students of engineering and applied science. There are other examples, such as in the leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and Jordan, and in the Hamas leadership. We’re talking about real engineers or students of the science, not the terrorist bomb makers often described as “engineers”. I am among those who attribute this phenomenon first and foremost to what is described as engineering thinking or an engineering mindset. The concept includes an assumption, which has been raised in psychological research, that engineering as a field of study and a profession tends to attract people who seek certainty, and their approach to the world is largely mechanistic. So they are characterized by a greater intolerance of uncertainty – a quality that is evident among extremists, both religious and secular. Those with engineering mindsets are also characterized by an approach that requires society to operate “like clockwork” and abhors democratic politics, which requires compromises. It’s clear that this is a cumulative tendency and not a stereotypical generalization.

The remainder of the article discusses what Sivan calls additional explanations, or overlapping thesis’s.

Prominent U.S. Muslim Brotherhood leaders who began their careers as engineers include three early U.S. Brotherhood leaders: Ahmad Totonji, HIsham Al-Talib, and Jamal Barzinji, all now associated with the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT).

(Note: GMBDW apologizes in advance to the large number of engineers worldwide who are not terrorists and/or members of Hamas or the global Muslim Brotherhood!)

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