Since Sept. 11, 2001, Peter Bergen reports in his new timely book, 330 people in the United States have been charged with some kind of jihadist terrorist crime, and a startling four out of five of them were American citizens or legal permanent residents.
Many assumptions about these militants, Mr. Bergen asserts, do not hold up: Most jihadists in the United States were not young hotheads without family obligations, and the decision to turn to terrorism, for the most part, was not rooted in some traumatic life experience. According to Mr. Bergen’s research, their average age was 29, and more than a third were married — many with children. In addition, more than one in six supporters of the Islamic State in this country were women.
American jihadists, Mr. Bergen says, are “on average, as well educated and emotionally stable as the typical citizen.