do france and belgium have a berber problem?

i don’t know the answer to that question — i only ask because it turns out that several of the paris terrrorists (from the recent attacks) are of berber extraction — and i’m thinking maybe someone should bother to find out if there’s something going on here.

here’s a list of the known (and some unknown) attackers as of a couple of days ago:

– salah abdeslam and his brother ibrahim (“brahim”) are riffians. while they are/were french citizens (resident in belgium), their parents were immigrants from bouyafar, nador province, morocco.

– samy amimour, who grew up in france, is of kabyle heritage (like hot-tempered zinedine zidane). libération says his family is of kabyle origin, but deutsche welle seems to suggest that only his mother is berber.

– abdelhamid abaaoud — and his cousin hasna aitboulahcen — were probably chleuhs or shilha berbers from southern morocco. one of abaaoud’s noms de guerre for himself was “abou omar soussi,” indicating that he identified with the souss valley where his parents were from, the souss region being mostly populated by chleuhs.

– bilal hadfi (french citizen, belgian resident) was ethnically moroccan — at least his father was — but i haven’t yet found out if he was berber or not.

– omar ismael mostefai’s father was algerian, but i don’t know if he is berber. reports are that mostefai’s mother is portugese, but the portugese authorities deny having any record of her. however, the mostefai family’s neighbors all talk about how the mother was portugese and was a convert to islam, so i think that must be correct.

– ahmed dahmani is also of moroccan heritage, but i don’t know if he’s berber or not. he’s also something of an amateur boxer.

mohammed amri is also “belgo-marocain,” but again i haven’t found out of he’s berber or not.

– not sure at all about hamza attou’s ethnic background.

– don’t know what fabien clain’s story is. he’s from réunion originally, and is a convert to (radical) islam (as is his brother). haven’t seen what his ethnic background is, but he looks to be a person of mixed ethnicity/race.

so, out of eleven suspects with confirmed identities, three are definitely of berber extraction (salah and ibrahim abdeslam and samy amimour), two most likely are (abdelhamid abaaoud and hasna aitboulahcen), three have a moroccan background (could be berber), and another is algerian. plus there are two unknowns. that’s definitely a heavily maghrebi group, and i’m betting berber.

since i’m adding up berber/maghrebi islamic terrorists, here are a few more:

mohammed bouyeri, the guy who killed theo van gogh, was a riffian (moroccan berber) [pg. 114].

– zacarias moussaoui — remember him?his mother is a berber.

mehdi nemmouche, who killed four people at the jewish museum of belgium, has at least one kabyle (algerian berber) grandmother.

wikipedia claims that the kouachi brothers responsible for the charlie hebdo shootings were berbers, but there is no source, so i still need to confirm this. they were definitely of algerian extraction.

ayoub el khazzani, the thalys train wannabe shooter, is from morocco himself — from tétouan which is in the rif region, so he may very well be another riffian.

poor people don’t like terrorists

at least not in pakistan (at least not the ones in this survey). it’s the middle class you gotta watch out for (edit: like the ones in abbottabad maybe?):

“Pakistan’s Middle Class Extremists”

“The data revealed four findings that undermine common wisdom about support for militancy in Pakistan. First, survey participants were generally negatively inclined toward all four militant organizations….

“Second, Pakistanis living in violent parts of the country, in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in particular, strongly disliked these groups….

“Third, poor Pakistanis nationwide disliked the militant groups about two times more than middle class Pakistanis, who were mildly positive toward the groups….

“Finally, this dislike is strongest among poor urban residents….”

so, if you’re stuck living (or dying) with extremists and terrorists in your neighborhood, you’re prolly reeeally not gonna like them. makes sense.

previously: ass-burgery terrorists?

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ass-burgery terrorists?

via infoproc, it seems that an awful lot of contemporary terrorists are engineers:

“Engineering Terror”

“[I]n the ranks of captured and confessed terrorists, engineers and engineering students are significantly overrepresented….

“For their recent study, the two men [Diego Gambetta & Steffen Hertog] collected records on 404 men who belonged to violent Islamist groups active over the past few decades (some in jail, some not). Had those groups reflected the working-age populations of their countries, engineers would have made up about 3.5 percent of the membership. Instead, nearly 20 percent of the militants had engineering degrees. When Gambetta and Hertog looked at only the militants whose education was known for certain to have gone beyond high school, close to half (44 percent) had trained in engineering. Among those with advanced degrees in the militants’ homelands, only 18 percent are engineers.

“The two authors found the same high ratio of engineers in most of the 21 organizations they examined, including Jemaah Islamiya in Southeast Asia and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in the Middle East. Sorting the militants according to their 30 homelands showed the same pattern: engineers represented a fifth of all militants from every nation except one, and nearly half of those with advanced degrees.”

steve hsu quips: “Hmm… autistic geeks fight for abstract ideas whereas empathic humanists fight to end human suffering?”


but, of course, he’s on to something there. at least the autistic part. there is a strong link between autism|ass-burgers and engineering:

“Both fathers and grandfathers of children with autism were found more than twice as often in the field of engineering, compared to fathers and grandfathers of other children. This link between autism and engineering may throw light not only on autism itself, but ultimately on the genetic basis of two essential human abilities: ‘folk psychology’ and ‘folk physics’.”

more on gambetta and hertog:

“Gambetta and Hertog found engineers only in right-wing groups — the ones that claim to fight for the pious past of Islamic fundamentalists or the white-supremacy America of the Aryan Nations (founder: Richard Butler, engineer) or the minimal pre-modern U.S. government that Stack and Bedell extolled.

“Among Communists, anarchists and other groups whose shining ideal lies in the future, the researchers found almost no engineers. Yet these organizations mastered the same technical skills as the right-wingers. Between 1970 and 1978, for instance, the Baader-Meinhof gang in Germany staged kidnappings, assassinations, bank robberies and bombings. Seventeen of its members had college or graduate degrees, mostly in law or the humanities. Not one studied engineering.

“The engineer mind-set, Gambetta and Hertog suggest, might be a mix of emotional conservatism and intellectual habits that prefers clear answers to ambiguous questions — ‘the combination of a sharp mind with a loyal acceptance of authority.'”


gambetta and hertog are obviously not ass-burgery themselves. (that’s ok. not everybody can be purely logical beings.) since i am an actual ass-burger, i’m going to take it upon myself to speak for autists|ass-burgers everywhere.

*clears throat*

there’s nothing about being on the autistic spectrum (AS) that gives us a “loyal acceptance of authority.” quite the opposite, in fact! AS folks generally joke that getting us to conform to any authority|situation is next to impossible – it’s like trying to herd cats.

no. afaics, the main difference between the “right-wing”|engineer|ass-burgery terrorists and the left-wing|artsy-fartsy|neurotypical terrorists is simply the logic thing.

simon baron-cohen (no, not that baron-cohen, but his cousin) theorizes that people on the AS have hyper-systemizing brains – we are constantly striving to understand how things (including people) work. looking for the mechanics underlying – well – everything!

that seems to explain almost perfectly the “right-wing”|engineer|ass-burgery terrorist vs. the left-wing|artsy-fartsy|neurotypical terrorist dichotomy. to me, anyway. the ass-burgery terrorists look for the logic behind the system – how things really work in the world – while the neurotypicals are completely lost-in-space with their communism, anarchism and “shining ideals.”

i mean, wtf? -isms like communism compleeeeeetely misunderstand how man works. compleeeeeetely. only a non-logical creature could come up with|believe in something so ridiculous.

ass-burgery terrorists want to reveal the wizard behind the curtain – neurotypical terrorists want to be that wizard.

now, i know what you’re going to say. “but the right-wing terrorists are so religious! how is THAT logical?” yeah, well no one is perfect. *sigh*

it has to be admitted, though, that most humans are infected by religiosity. (shame really, but it seems to work – and, after all is said and done, that is all that mother nature cares about.) and, again, in this way the ass-burgery terrorists are more realistic in that they don’t deny the religiosity of man – unlike, say, communists.

i can kinda relate to these ass-burgery terrorists. i don’t relate AT ALL with the desire to blow up things|people. that’s just wrong, wrong, wrong. but i think i can relate a bit to the mind-set wherein you’ve thought through a social problem|question logically – and because you have done so, you can see all the logical fallacies of the majority propping up the status quo – and it just offends you. (like: “it’s so obvious what the problems are! why can’t|doesn’t everyone else see that!”) and something needs to be done to get rid of all those g*dd*mn fallacies…!

kinda like political correctness. it offends me. deeply. and i know it’s not going to be able survive a great, economic depression, which looks certain to happen any day now. (people are NOT gonna be able to afford political correctness when push comes to shove.) and i kinda am looking forward to it, even though i know it’s going to mean financial wreck and ruin for everyone i care about, and possibly even war and what not. but, at this point, almost anything would be better than all this political correctness!! almost.

childish, i know. but autism is a developmental disorder.


test yourself to see if you’ve the makings of a terrorist! (~_^) i score pretty much off the charts, in a range not at all typical for your average chick.

and, now, for something completely different. a little ass-burgery music:

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