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Race, Climate, Islam, and WWIII – Libertarian Institute Roundtable

by | Dec 18, 2022

…[W]e now have the first complete data set of all suicide terrorist attacks around the world from 1980 to 2009,…research on who becomes a suicide terrorist showed that virtually none could be diagnosed as mentally ill, while many were religious and, most striking, nearly all emerged from communities resisting foreign military occupation….

From 1980 to 2003, there were 345 completed suicide terrorist attacks by 524 suicide terrorists who actually killed themselves on a mission to kill others, half of whom are secular. The world leader was the Tamil Tigers (a secular, Hindu group) who carried out more attacks than Hamas or Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) during this period. Further, at least a third of the suicide attacks in predominantly Muslim countries were carried out by secular terrorist groups, such as the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) in Turkey. Instead of religion, what over 95% of all suicide terrorist attacks before 2004 had in common was a strategic goal: to compel a democratic state to withdraw combat forces that are threatening territory that the terrorists’ prize. From Lebanon to Sri Lanka to the West Bank to Chechnya, the central goal of every suicide terrorist campaign has been to resist military occupation by a democracy….

It was the Hindu, avowedly antireligious Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in Sri Lanka, whose 157 suicide terrorists totaled more than Hamas and all other Palestinian suicide groups combined. Of the Palestinian suicide terrorists, more than a third were from secular groups, such as the Al-Aqsa Martyr’s Brigade and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Of the suicide terrorists associated with Hezbollah in Lebanon during the 1980s, only 21% were Islamic fundamentalists while 71% were communists and socialists; 8% were Christians. In Turkey, 100% of the PKK’s suicide attackers were secular. Overall, Islamic fundamentalism cannot account for over half of the known affiliations of the 524 total suicide terrorists from 1980 to 2003—184 were from Islamic fundamentalist groups (35% comprising 73 Al Qaeda, 5 Lebanese, 5 Kashmiri Rebels, 69 Hamas, 34 Palestinian Islamic Jihad) and 236 from secular groups (45% comprising 157 Tamil Tigers, 42 Al-Aqsa, 22 Lebanese, 15 PKK), while 12 (21%) had unknown ideological affiliations….

Further, notice that there are no suicide attackers from Iran—one of the largest Islamic fundamentalist populations in the world, with a population greater than Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan, and Syria combined.

– Robert Pape and James K. Feldman, Cutting the Fuse

Keith Knight

Keith Knight

Keith Knight is Managing Editor at the Libertarian Institute, host of the Don't Tread on Anyone podcast and editor of The Voluntaryist Handbook: A Collection of Essays, Excerpts, and Quotes.

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