Back in the News: the Engineer as Terrorist

Is there really a connection? The evidence mounts.

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Two year ago, researchers Diego Gambetta and Steffen Hertog concluded that engineers were far more likely to be members of violent Islamist groups than average citizens of the same countries. (IEEE Spectrum reported on the initial research in 2008. ) Since then, says an article in today’s New York Times Magazine, more data from terrorist attempts of all sorts supports the engineer/terrorist connection.

Gambetta and Hertog found the connection only in right-wing groups, suggesting that there’s something about the engineering mindset that is influencing the connection, not just the fact that engineering skills are valuable to terrorist groups. Others say the data set is simply too small to be meaningful in any way.

What do you think?  

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