- By Thomas E. RicksThomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An Israeli analyst says a disproportionate number of engineers became terrorists because they can’t tolerate uncertainty:
What links the following people: the Nigerian who wanted to blow up Northwest Airlines Flight 253 to Detroit on Christmas Day; the two Palestinians arrested at Be’er Sheva’s Central Bus Station and who are suspected of reconnoitering for a mass terror attack; Mohammed Abd al-Salam Faraj, leader of the killers of Anwar Sadat; Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, planner of the attack on the Twin Towers; Mohamed Atta, who commanded the attack; and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad?
Answer: all are engineers or students of engineering and applied science.
Tom again: Hmm, I wonder that guy in Austin who had a psychotic gripe against the IRS did for a living (besides play bass in a honky tonk band)? Maybe a software engineer?
This is gonna make my next Thanksgiving fun. Half my male relatives are engineers-civil, mechanical, chemical, you name it. Now I’m gonna have to figure out which of them are most likely to snap or blow up their underwear.