The Allure of Extremism

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We’ve just heard what world leaders are discussing in terms of how to deal with the growing threat from ISIL, but here’s the question that lies behind everything that’s happening now: What draws someone to join an extremist group?

Terrorist organizations throughout the Middle East are not lacking for recruits—whether it’s fighters from within the continent, or foreign fighters from Western nations joining the effort against their own countries. There are tens of thousands of them, and their ranks are said to be growing with each passing day.

Today, a conversation about what these recruits are looking for in their lives, what conditions make them ripe for recruitment, and put simply: What is the allure to join up in violent jihad?

Credits

Guests:
Graeme Wood - Atlantic Magazine - @gcaw, Jessica Stern - professor at the Pardee School of Global Studies at Boston University, who studies terrorist groups across religions and ideologies - @JessicaEStern, Mohamad Bazzi - New York University - @BazziNYU, Mark Juergensmeyer - University of California, Santa Barbara - @juergensmeyer

Host:
Tess Vigeland

Producers:
Benjamin Gottlieb, Claire Martin, Evan George