December 14, 2007

Poverty Does Not Terror Make

There is an article in the New York Times this morning suggesting poverty had something to do with the decision of Larbi Charef and others to blow themselves up in a suicide attack a few days ago in Algiers. This bothered Abu Muqawama, as the economist Alan B. Kreuger makes a pretty persuasive case that poverty has little to do with terror in his excellent book of lectures, What Makes a Terrorist: Economics and the Roots of Terrorism.

You should all read that book, which is on the Counterinsurgency Reading List. And if you're looking for something smart to read on the Algeria attacks, you should also read this article -- forwarded along by Charlie -- on the way in which the attacks represent a maturing terrorist organization. Emily Hunt's long piece is also good, though now dated, and it goes without saying that the French-language press is going to get into the weeds on Algerian politics better than its English-language peers. Happy hunting.