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March 24, 2016


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Ray Hulm

And if you have any spare time Paul you might think about writing a review of D. Gambetta and S. Hertog's , Engineers of Jihad.

Dr Paul Stott

Hi Ray - Thanks for alerting me to this.

The argument in the book (or variants of it) has been knocking around for a little while. I remember seeing Richard English of St Andrews University make the point that N Ireland terrorism was rooted in working class communities, yet other variants seem much more middle class. Islamist terrorism has looked that way - lots of graduates and postgraduates, and lots of wealthy Saudis. I suspect Engineers of Jihad takes up the high number of students from technical backgrounds in jihadist groups - a point Jason Burke made in his book on Al-Qaeda.

The picture with Islamists does look a little more complicated since the rise of IS - a lot of those involved from continental Europe seem to come from much poorer backgrounds, even from what our Marxist friends used to refer to as the lumpen proletariat. I am not convinced that's the case in the UK, but I don't have the data either way. When I asked UK Universities how many British students have left their courses to fight in Syria they ignored me, and when I asked the Federation of Student Islamic Societes, people took umbrage and started implying I was racist.

Obviously I should have asked the dungeons and dragons society instead!

I look forward to getting the book, and yes, I need to start doing some reviews on here.


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