1. Poverty. Experts say that the main reason people engage in terrorism is because they're poor. Now I find that concept and the reasoning behind it to be very interesting. It's assumed by these 'experts' that since these terrorists mostly come from Muslim countries that they must be poor. Yet when you look at actual terrorists engaging in actual terrorist activities, you realise something. They are almost entirely made up of the middle and upper classes of their various home countries. None probably knew poverty or real hardship until their first night in a cave in Afghanistan or a bombed out house in Fallujah. Apparently the poor in these 'terrorist states' have more important things on their mind than blowing up the 'infidel.' Things like feeding their families and staying alive for just one more day. Like Che Guevera's botched 'Peasant's Revolution' in Bolivia, international jihad is made up mostly of relatively rich kids living out their fantasies of glory.
2. Ignorance. Here we go again. Most 'experts' declare that people won't become terrorists if they only knew us in the Western World for the pips that we really are. Well, once again, when we look at actual terrorists, we see that they've, more often than not, have lived among us in the West. Many have studied at our universities, and they still hate us. Why? Because they see our treatment of women, homosexuals, and people of other religions as evidence of our 'evil.' They know us all to well, and it's our tolerance and freedom that disgust them.
3. Injustice. Okay, I'll concede that the bulk of Islamist terrorists come from countries with dismal human rights records. But look at the first two points. These aren't the oppressed peasantry engaged in revolt here. Terrorist are the children of the ruling elite, looking to replace the order of their parent's generation with their own. They don't seek freedom, they just want to change the names of the dictators.
It's my theory that these are not the causes of terrorism, but the excuses of terrorists. You could give George W. Bush a magic wand that would eliminate poverty, ignorance and injustice and a movement would erupt worldwide blowing people up left and right over the 'evil yankee imperialists who took away their rights to be poor, ignorant and abused.'
Let's move away from international jihad and look at an American domestic terrorist as the perfect example of this theory. The Olympic Park Bomber went on a campaign of domestic terrorism that killed several people and did a lot of damage all over the southern USA. He claimed that his cause was his opposition to abortion.
I'll bet you dollars to donuts that he could be put in an alternate dimension where abortion didn't exist, and he'd start bombing the offices of dentists. Abortion was not his cause, it was his excuse for acting out his violent power fantasies.
It's the same with the members of Al-Qaida. These are people who watch videos of the decapitation of hostages the same way ordinary perverts watch porno. If there was no grand jihad to latch onto, they'd be abusing and killing people in the name of money, power, or just plain old kicks. The fact that Usama Bin Ladin's promising 72 virgins as their heavenly reward for doing what they'd be doing without his blessing.
We should still fight poverty, ignorance, and injustice, because they are bad things in and of themselves. However, terrorism is an evil all unto itself, there is no legitimate excuse for it, and it has to be crushed, one dead terrorist at a time.