July 28th, 2009
04:38 PM ET

How do they radicalize others?

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/CRIME/06/01/arkansas.recruiter.shooting/art.ar.suspect.katv.jpg caption="Police identified the suspect as Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, formerly known as Carlos Bledsoe. "]

Program Note: Watch Daveed Gartenstein-Ross TONIGHT on AC360° 10p ET.

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross
For The Washington Times

The shooting in Arkansas last week that claimed the life of a 24-year-old soldier and the bomb plot that was disrupted in the Bronx in late May put questions about homegrown terrorism into sharp focus. Why do some Americans, like Arkansas shooter Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, decide to take up arms against the society where they were born and raised?

There has been debate among those who study terrorism over the extent to which ideology - such as al Qaeda's dark worldview - helps make a terrorist. Some observers think it is an important factor, while others argue that the feeling of grievance (legitimate or not) is critical and ideology provides only a veneer of pretext.


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soundoff (2 Responses)
  1. J.V.Hodgson

    The reasons for this persons specific crime are totally relevant to proving his guilt or innocence,but extrapolating that to Al Qaeda belief is a huge, huge stretch and intellectually indefensible unless they themselves can expound clearly, concisely and accurately the 6000 plus and relevant Qu'ranic verses for thier acts which I suspect most could not = rather parroting thier "Imans" message without knowing or understanding why.
    No wonder extreme forms of Islamic faith want to keep 50% of the populace ( women) uneducated. it is then easier for the Imans etc to "control" the whole populace, via multiple interpretations.
    Education is the point.. the whole fundamental of Islam is in the wise ones I.e the Imans and Ayotallahs or respected clerics who dictate at the "tribal" level by Fatwahs and Friday Prayers how "submitters" must behave.
    If you are uneducated it is easy to be Led, but education teaches us logic and reason and to ask questions.
    Islam and Muslims are de facto a growing part of the global population.
    If you want a war I suggest it's fought by asking the various Islamic and muslims factions to codify sharia law, by the Imans, Clerics and Ayotallahs, (maybe with Shiite, Sunni, wahabbi etc variants) and in particular to define when Jihad is or is not justified, thats 70% of the solution the rest is education for all Muslims male or female... we need several Muslim Emily Pankhursts, all over the place, fighting for voting and education rights not Western Human rights activists, as the latter are simply infidels attacking basic Qu'ran tenets. Real change comes from within,not without.

    July 29, 2009 at 3:22 am |
  2. Angela, AZ

    Are studies being done to determine if there's a specific link between the psychological and idealogical to create a profile for these people as there are serial killer profilers, etc?

    July 29, 2009 at 12:18 am |