More pertinent that ever after the events of July 7th, Michael Bond has written a fascinating short opinion piece for New Scientist about the psychology and background of suicide bombers. Contrary to the popular (that is, corporate) media portrayal, they are usually young, law-abiding, well-educated people.

“The immediate reaction to suicide bombers is to label them as animals, or inherently evil. But this will not do. Blowing themselves up in a crowd is often the first evil thing these people have done. And they are not animals. The most difficult thing of all is to recognise that suicide bombers are, alas, all too human.”

The article is subscription-only, but has been reproduced widely on the Web – for example, at The Post (second article).