Bruce Hoffman

Father Knows Best . . . ?

Omar bin Laden deliberately chose a distinctly different path in his life than his father. Perhaps it was because of the rebellious streak inherent in some children who reflexively spurn their parents’ grand plans for them. Perhaps it was because of the loss of his beloved pet. Regardless, the trajectory to terrorism is neither pre- nor divinely ordained. Understanding why one bin Laden embraced and reveled in it while another rejected it is what makes the study of terrorism not only endlessly compelling but vitally important.