The tragedy at Fort Hood, Texas, and the near miss by underwear bomber, Umar Abdulmutallab, are being analyzed by the chattering classes as a failure of intelligence. In one sense, that’s right.
The army psychiatrist charged with the murders is seen as a closet terrorist whose deployment orders drove him over some psychological edge. He has a record, we’re told, of being argumentative, self-righteous about his religion, unwilling or unable to locate his religious ideas in any context that would limit their effect, and devoted to the jihadist philosophy of the Yemeni cleric Anwar al Awlaki.
Umar Abdulmutallab on the other hand is a sad instance of a privileged upbringing in which fundamental personal and educational questions went unresolved. It … Read the rest