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A Few Thoughts on the NIE
Admittedly, we have only a few declassified pages of the National Intelligence Estimate, so some of these issues might be addressed there.

But it is striking that the "Trends in Global Terrorism: Implications for the United States" does not discuss financial issues at all. Nor does it discuss the role in radicalization provided by the massive flow of Saudi and Arab Peninsula dollars into radicalization efforts.

It is this fundamental base of Salafist teachings that allow for the spread of radical, decentralized Islamist network described in the findings. There is a basic playbook being taught around the world, with funding by governments that claim to be allies in fighting jihadist movements. With the teachings from early childhood, coupled with corrupted teachings on the Koran spread at Wahhabi mosques around the world, a global community is built.

The lack of recognition of the "pull" factors in Islamist radicalization is surprising. The four "underlying factors fueling the spread of the jihadist movement" are defined as: (1) Entrenched grievances, such as corruption, injustice, and fear of Western domination, leading to anger, humiliation, and a sense of powerlessness; (2) the Iraq "jihad";(3) the slow pace of real and sustained economic, social, and political reforms in many Muslim majority nations; and (4) pervasive anti-US sentiment among most Muslims-all of which jihadists exploit.

These are clearly legitimate push factors in Islamist radicalization. But they do not effectively touch on the other half of the equation. These include trying to understand why Islamists are making gains outside the Muslim-majority countries, and how not just the jihadis making bombs but the huge Islamist apparatus exploit the above factors.

They do it through the flow of money through charities, the international Muslim Brotherhood and diplomatic channels that teach not only a radical theology of hatred, but also define true Islamic spirituality as being radicalized to the point of being willing to commit suicide to attack the enemies of Islam. This is taught as the the way to redeem to sense of powerlessness, anger and humiliation, wage jihad in Iraq and far beyond, and punish the U.S. and its allies.

These push factors are powerful. The money that enables the push factor is important. Without them, the pull factors would be far less potent. Many people live worse than most of the jihadis do. The grievances alone cannot account for the growth of jihadist movements.
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