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The Washington Times Weekly - - National -

A Prince­ton econ­o­mist seeks to put the risks Amer­i­cans face from ter­ror­ism into “proper per­spec­tive” with his unique book due out next month.

Alan B. Krueger will ex­plore three ques­tions in “What Makes a Ter­ror­ist: Eco­nomics and the Roots of Ter­ror­ism,” in­clud­ing who be­comes a ter­ror­ist, where ter­ror­ism emerges and what ter­ror­ism ac­com­plishes.

Bot­tom line: Ter­ror­ists are drawn from well-ed­u­cated, high­in­come fam­i­lies and are more likely to be en­gi­neers and doc­tors, as op­posed to those from un­e­d­u­cated and poor back­grounds. But more im­por tantly, Mr. Krueger says Amer­i­cans must cor­rectly iden­tify the root causes of ter­ror­ism, be­cause “an ac­cu­rate un­der­stand­ing of ter­ror­ists’ mo­tives can help us put ter­ror­ists’ acts be­hind us, de­mys­tify ter­ror­ism, and en­able so­ci­ety to move on and put the risks of fu­ture at­tacks into per­spec­tive.”

The econ­o­mist re­minds read­ers in spite of wide­spread fear that for­eign ter­ror­ists will at­tack the United States, 88 per­cent of ter­ror­ist at­tacks “oc­cur in the per­pe­tra­tor’s coun­try of ori­gin.”

Fi­nally, don’t as­sume long-term eco­nomic ef­fects of ter­ror­ism are huge and crip­pling. The global loss of about $6.4 bil­lion per year ow­ing to ter­ror­ism is a com­par­a­tively small share of the gross do­mes­tic prod­uct (GDP), or only about 0.064 per­cent.

So ter­ror­ism, Mr. Krueger con­cludes, “only mat­ters in a big way if we let it mat­ter.”

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