Many more Zarqawis

In some ways, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s life was typical of many young men in the Middle East. He had a humble upbringing, a misspent youth, and, like many of his contemporaries, he struggled to come to terms with a culture that was attempting to blend traditional values with rapid modernization. But how did it all go so wrong? How ...

608373_zarqawiimage5.jpg
608373_zarqawiimage5.jpg

In some ways, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's life was typical of many young men in the Middle East. He had a humble upbringing, a misspent youth, and, like many of his contemporaries, he struggled to come to terms with a culture that was attempting to blend traditional values with rapid modernization. But how did it all go so wrong? How did an otherwise ordinary young man become a mega-terrorist? The answer is obviously complicated, but it's one that we here at FP tried to pin down in a November/December 2005 profile of Zarqawi written for us by Italian journalist Loretta Napoleoni. Read it, if you haven't already. Paul Pillar, the former deputy chief of the CIA's counterterrorism unit, a 27-year veteran of the agency who directed the U.S. effort to hunt down foreign terrorists, called Napoleoni's profile, "the best thing I’ve read on [Zarqawi] anywhere."

 

In some ways, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi’s life was typical of many young men in the Middle East. He had a humble upbringing, a misspent youth, and, like many of his contemporaries, he struggled to come to terms with a culture that was attempting to blend traditional values with rapid modernization. But how did it all go so wrong? How did an otherwise ordinary young man become a mega-terrorist?
 
The answer is obviously complicated, but it’s one that we here at FP tried to pin down in a November/December 2005 profile of Zarqawi written for us by Italian journalist Loretta Napoleoni. Read it, if you haven’t already. Paul Pillar, the former deputy chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism unit, a 27-year veteran of the agency who directed the U.S. effort to hunt down foreign terrorists, called Napoleoni’s profile, “the best thing I’ve read on [Zarqawi] anywhere.”

 

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