Al Qaeda's New Front [site homepage]
homefaqsal qaeda todaymapdiscussion

Dr. Sageman's research also found:

+  Far from having no family or job responsibilities, 73 percent were married and the vast majority had children. Those who were not married were usually too young to be married.

+  At the time they joined jihad, the terrorists were not very religious. They only became religious once they joined the jihad.

+  70 percent of his sample joined the jihad while they were living in another country from where they grew up: someone from country A is living in country B and going after country C. This is very different from the usual terrorist of the past, someone from country A, living in country A, going after country A's government.

+  80 percent were, in some way, totally excluded from the society they lived in.

+  68 percent either had pre-existing friendships with people already in the jihad or were part of a group of friends who collectively joined the jihad together -- for example, the Hamburg group that planned and executed 9/11, and the Montreal group that surrounded Ahmed Ressam, the millennial bomber.

+  20 percent had close family bonds to the jihad.


Read more on Dr. Sageman's findings from a Nov. 1, 2004 speech at the Foreign Policy Research Institute in Philadelphia.

home + introduction + faqs + al qaeda today + mapping the threat + special reports
join the discussion + interviews + producer's chat + teacher's guide
press reaction + tapes & transcript + credits + privacy policy
FRONTLINE home + wgbh + pbsi

posted jan. 25, 2005

FRONTLINE is a registered trademark of wgbh educational foundation.
photo copyright © corbis
web site copyright 1995-2014 WGBH educational foundation