What Are the Real Motives of Groups Like ISIS

Analysis of every terrorist attack suggests that religion is a mask for the real intention of controlling resources and land

Isis fighters

It is a common belief that groups like ISIS are motivated by their radical theology, a twisted version of Islam and their aim is for this “islam” to be forced on to the Worlds population. Robert Pape, a scientist from the University of Chicago, however believes that this is far too a simplistic view. Having studied every suicide bombing since 1980 (around 4600 in all) he has the data to back up his claims.

What 95 percent of all suicide attacks have in common, since 1980, is not religion, but a specific strategic motivation to respond to a military intervention, often specifically a military occupation, of territory that the terrorists view as their homeland or prize greatly. From Lebanon and the West Bank in the 80s and 90s, to Iraq and Afghanistan, and up through the Paris suicide attacks we’ve just experienced in the last days, military intervention—and specifically when the military intervention is occupying territory—that’s what prompts suicide terrorism more than anything else.

This idea is backed up by multiple reports of captured ISIS fighters who when interviewed had little or no knowledge of Islam. Pape argues, in detail, that our basic misunderstanding of the motives and objectives of groups like ISIS is why to date we have failed to stop them.

You can listen to the complete interview with Robert Pape below;