Vicarious Poverty

Hannah Bowers

Blog Post October 11, 2011

                I have to agree with Sageman when he says that one of the most popular explanations of terrorism is vicarious poverty in Leaderless Jihad.  It is said in the reading that economic deprivation breeds resentment which then leads to terrorism.  I see this happening very easily, people that have resentment want to do things about their problems and when they are in an area of terrorism what better thing to do than join.  Vicarious poverty is described in the reading that terrorists justify their acts in terms of justice and fairness and on behalf of the less fortunate.  It seems that terrorists really want to protect each other and those that can act for those who cannot.  The reading then introduces those groups and levels that different terrorists are apart of.

                In the reading three global Islamist waves were introduced.  The first is the called the old guard which included companions-in-arms of Bin Laden.  The second wave  are those who joined the global Islamist terrorist social movement in the 1990s.  The third was is composed of the post-Iraqi invasion generation.  Throughout the reading I realized that the first wave is far better off than the third while the second is in the middle.  The first wave has more money, better families, better education, and older more mature members.  It is obvious that Bin Laden would have these people as his companions.  The first wave has also probably made the most impact in terrorism, but yet still with the help of the other waves.  It was very interesting learning the different levels of terrorism groups and what each one means.  The waves explain the level of poverty very well and how each one contributes to terrorism in their own way.

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