Liberty Breeds Security
Another method, says Princeton University economist Alan B. Krueger, is to increase the civil liberties of the countries that breed terrorist groups. In an analysis of State Department data on terrorism, Krueger discovered that “countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn suicide terrorists. Evidently, the freedom to assemble and protest peacefully without interference from the government goes a long way to providing an alternative to terrorism.” Let freedom ring!
— Murdercide Science unravels the myth of suicide bombers By Michael Shermer, Scientific American January 2006.
Not only does curtailing civil liberties not assist much in the short term with catching terrorists, in the long term it actually breeds terrorists. After all, terrorism isn’t about religion, or poverty, or even nationalism: it is about politics. The politics of civil liberties.
From “Liberty Is Security” at John Quaterman’s Perilocity.