From the I Told You So file: a Harvard researcher's sociological analysis has backed up what EVERY CREDIBLE SURVEY of terrorism has found -- there is no link to poverty.
Bin Laden and his followers are primarily middle-class Saudis, Egyptians and Moroccans; the Palestinian terrorists usually come from middle-class families; Iranian terrorists are also primarily not drawn from the societal underclass.
Here are some findings by the Harvard Associate Prof.:
A John F. Kennedy School of Government researcher has cast doubt on the widely held belief that terrorism stems from poverty, finding instead that terrorist violence is related to a nation's level of political freedom.
Associate Professor of Public Policy Alberto Abadie examined data on terrorism and variables such as wealth, political freedom, geography, and ethnic fractionalization for nations that have been targets of terrorist attacks.
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Before analyzing the data, Abadie believed it was a reasonable assumption that terrorism has its roots in poverty, especially since studies have linked civil war to economic factors. However, once the data was corrected for the influence of other factors studied, Abadie said he found no significant relationship between a nation's wealth and the level of terrorism it experiences.
He also found a correlation between terrorism and geography -- if the terrain is difficult, terrorists have more and better places to hide (Colombia, Afghanistan, Spain's Basque region).
Read it all (click link in title).
HT: The Instapundit.