By: Scott Atran, Letter to New York Times
Friday, April 04, 2003
Adjunct Professor Scott Atran's research on suicide terrorism is presented in the March 7, 2003 issue of the journal Science.
Contemporary suicide terrorists from the Middle East are publicly deemed crazed cowards bent on senseless destruction who thrive in poverty and ignorance. Recent research indicates they have no appreciable psychopathology and are as educated and economically well-off as surrounding populations. A first line of defense is to get the communities from which suicide attackers stem to stop the attacks by learning how to minimize the receptivity of mostly ordinary people to recruiting organizations....
Read the full text of Atran's article on the Science Magazine website at http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/299/5612/1534.
The Science article and Atran's recent book “In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion,” (Oxford University Press, 2002), are also featured in the March 6, 2003 UM News & Information Services press release Suicide terrorism: U-M author explains what defenses will and won’t work and why.
This timely research is receiving much attention from media outlets across the US and internationally; the following are just some of the items that have appeared within the last couple of days. Please note that to see some featured clippings, you may need to register or have a password for the particular news media site.
Sharon Begley's article "Likely Suicide Bombers Include Profiles You'd Never Suspect" from the April 4, 2003 Wall Street Journal is featured in another news item on our website.
BBC Newshour has interviewed Atran several times in the last month. On March 11; the segment began at 20:30 GMT and an audio link can be found on the BBC World Service - Newshour website at http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/ram/newshour.ram.
Atran's Opinion column LOCAL COMMENT: U.S. off target in terror war; Nation can't root out problem having wrong view of attackers appears on the March 7, 2003 Detroit Free Press editorial page.
On Friday morning, March 7, 2003, Atran was interviewed by Christopher Joyce on Bob Edwards' Morning Edition program. A transcript and audio link of Profile: Look at the Mind of a Suicide Bomber are available on the NPR website.
The March 6, 2003 New York Times featured Atran's research in an Associated Press report Researchers Study Suicide Attacks. Associated Press writer Matt Kelley's article Researchers Study Suicide Attacks also appears in the March 7, 2003 Austin American Statesman; under the title "Suicide bombers' motives studied; Researcher says recruits are lured to terrorism; they're not crazy zealots" in the A section of the March 7, 2003 Charlotte Observer; and also in the March 6 Raleigh News article "Researchers study factors behind suicide attacks".
On March 6, 2003, the ABCnews website featured "Suicide Bombers Made, Not Born, Study Suggests" By Maggie Fox, Reuters. The item also appears on the MSNBC news website: "Suicide Bombers Said Made, Not Born", and under the same title at Reuters AlertNet, as well as on the Australian ABC news website under the title Suicide bombers made, not born: scientist on March 7, 2003.
Kieron Lang's article Author argues suicide bombers bred, not born also appears on Canadian Television's CTV.ca website.
Professor disputes U.S. view of culprits: Madman label wrong, he says by Blade science writer Jenni Laidman appeared in the March 7, 2003 Toledo Blade.
The March 7 London Times Online also features Atran's work in "Suicide bombers are mentally fit", as does the Ivanhoe newswire story Preventing Terrorism.
And the March 7, 2003 Toronto Star includes an article by Judy Gerstel, "Prepare to Bare Arms in Bitter War", that discusses the effects of sugar and mentions Atran's research.
Other media coverage includes:
Australian Radio National
El Mundo (Madrid)
La Recherche (Paris) - Agence France Presse
The Straits Times (Singapore)
Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung
The New Zealand Herald, March 10, 2003
CNN Live, March 8, 2003
L'Orient (Lebanon), March 7, 2003
De Standaard (Antwerp), March 7, 2003
Deutsche-Presse Agentur, March 6, 2003
Algemeen Nederlands Persbureau (ANP), March 6, 2003
For a more complete list of media appearances, please visit the Google News website.