Reasons why members of terrorist groups 'drop out' and quit or defect?

Michael Jacobson of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy has an article on why members of terror groups 'drop out' of those groups. He advocates studying these reasons further and using this information to combat terrorism.

This is a welcome alternative to the heavy handed shotgun approach that has been taken in recent years focusing on military interventions, invasions, and the like.

The reasons he list, with examples are: 

  • Disillusionment with terror ideology and tactics.
  • Lack of respect for the group leadership.
  • Lack of money, or the promise of more money elsewhere.
  • Ties with family and friends outside the terror group.

Fighting terrorism requires multiple facets, including prevention, addressing the reasons and grievances, using intelligence gathering and disruptions, countering the ideology, involving the communities where terror is likely to develop, ...etc. and capitalizing on the reasons above to leave the group, 




the word, terrorism

My opinion is that in order to get to the roots of terrorism, one has to don a objective scope. Terror is a reaction, not a senseless recourse to deplorable tactic. Everyone loves life, but not everyone loves to live under whatever terms they are handed by those who deem themselves to be supreme and superior to others. To tackle teror is one should not venture a top to bottom solution as you advocate here, but should be brave and moral enough to tackle it from bottom to top. Fairness becomes the keyword here. When so called advanced civilized nations are ready to behave in civilized manners and not just propagandize about it - tongue in cheek - we should then be off to a good start. Every self-centred decision of the West impacts on other nations of the world. If life is truly considered sacred in the West, then why doesn't she extend this right to life to peoples of other nations? And liberty, equality, and the pursuit of happiness... These principles are entrenched in the declarations of nationhood of many western nations, but as far as practice is concerned, they are not worth the paper on which they written. Does the West bethink the underdeveloped nations stupid? Every day we see the hypocrisy of the West and we are supposed to live with it without so much as a mutter for fear of being branded terrorists or anarchists! Generetion after generation in strife! Please tell - doesn't your conscience prick you a little, doesn't it tell you that this is the real terror, and not a bunch of people who dare to rattle the complascent lifestyles of a few in the West when day by day their own people in entirety suffer under the yoke of oppression meted out by a feudal west? An African adage goes: when you point a finger of accusation at someone, three of your own fingers point back at you in accusation. Wrong is done when those with power can no longer in their own eyes, do any wrong. With power comes responsibility.