In This Review

Although suicide bombings have become a disturbingly regular occurrence over the past decade, with more than two thousand occurring since 2003, we still have only a limited understanding of why people commit them. In the years since 9/11, it has become clear that suicide strikes are more common in countries under military occupation or with high male-female population ratios; that terrorists are most often recruited by their friends; and that suicide bombing is not correlated with poverty. Those findings can be and have been useful in predicting where suicide bombings are likely to occur. But they do not offer much insight into

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  • JESSICA STERN is a member of the Hoover Institution Task Force on National Security and Law.
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