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What makes a radical?

When asked why they supported the 9/11 attacks, the radicals gave political rather than religious reasons.

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Various studies of Muslim terrorists show that most are not graduates of but of private or public schools and universities; most are from middle- and working-class backgrounds; some are devout and others are not. This survey confirms these findings:

•Among the Muslims surveyed, 7 percent condoned the 9/11 attacks. The study terms these the "politically radicalized."

•When asked why they supported the attacks, the radicals gave political rather than religious reasons. They have a sense of political frustration and feel humiliated and threatened by the West. Those who opposed the attacks often gave religious reasons for doing so.

•The radicals, on average, are not the down-and-out people in society. They are more educated than moderates, and two-thirds of radicals have average or above-average income. Forty-seven percent supervise others at work. They are more optimistic about their own lives than are moderates (52 percent to 45 percent).

•Radicals are no more religious than the general population and do not attend mosque more frequently.

•What distinguishes them is not their perception of Western culture or freedoms, but their perception of US policies. Even radicals say they support democracy. But 63 percent of radicals do not believe that the United States will allow people in the region to fashion their own political future without direct US influence.

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