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Making Sense of Suicide Missions$
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Diego Gambetta

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199276998

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199276998.001.0001

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Al‐Qaeda, September 11, 2001

Al‐Qaeda, September 11, 2001

(p.131) 4 Al‐Qaeda, September 11, 2001
Making Sense of Suicide Missions

Stephen Holmes

Oxford University Press

Many of the key actors in the 9/11 drama articulated their grievances using archaic religious language. But the very fact that the code involved is ancient while the behaviour that needs to be explained is recent suggests the inadequacy of causal theories that overemphasize the religious element. This chapter examines whether non-religious motives may well have been predominant in the 9/11 mission. To pursue this suggestion, the inquiry is divided into two parts, discussing first the perpetrators and then the instigators and supervisors of the plot.

Keywords:   9/11, al-Qaeda, terrorist attack, September 11, United States, religion

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