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Readers respond to terrorism's roots

Reader feedback on the July 9, 2016 issue of Science News

3:17pm, August 24, 2016

Rooting out terrorism

Anthropologists have moved to the front lines to determine what drives people to join terrorist organizations such as the Islamic State. New research shows that the most committed ISIS fighters revere Islamic law and identify closely with a small group of comrades, Bruce Bower reported in “Deadly devotion” (SN: 7/9/16, p. 18).

Some readers noted similarities between researcher Scott Atran’s work and philosopher Eric Hoffer’s 1951 book The True Believer. The book discusses the psychological causes of fanaticism that can be seen in political and religious

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