By Ronald B. Inden
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The Sinjar data, however imperfect, match both the general finding of a surfeit of engineers as well as the Saudi exception. What we are to make of the Saudi exception is a question we address in chapter 2. Selection Effects The proportion of graduates in general and engineers in particular among Islamist extremists appears to be genuinely significant. It requires explanation—but what exactly is to be explained first needs to be established. There are two processes that could generate these findings: one is a greater propensity among graduates and engineers to become jihadi and the other is a selection mechanism by which more graduates and more engineers are admitted to the ranks of jihad, regardless of propensity.
The findings are further confirmed by the Sinjar database of jihadists who went to fight in Iraq. The hypothesis that the overrepresentation could be the result of selective recruitment based on technical skills in bomb-making and communi- The Education of Islamist Extremists • 33 cations does not stand up to scrutiny for a host of different reasons, the most important of which is that the ratio of bomb-makers among engineers is identical to that among jihadists with other degrees. Over and above the engineering puzzle, we found that university students and graduates generally are vastly overrepresented among Islamist radicals.
Com/news/world-middle-east-28116846). At the time, however, ISIS was engaged in a broader project of state-building rather than just smallscale insurgency. 47 “Military Studies in the Jihad against the Tyrants,” used in court in the trial, held in New York from January to May 2001, against four men charged in the 1998 embassy bombings in East Africa. ” Date and author are unknown. The Education of Islamist Extremists • 25 more likely to be found among engineers, and recruiters might be aware of this.