Anthropologist Scott Atran on why Islamic State is a wider threat than realised

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Anthropologist Scott Atran, a research fellow with Oxford University who also teaches at University of Michigan and John Jay College in New York, is a leading expert in the study of the motivations of those who join jihadist ranks and the rise of the Islamic State group, and advises governments and international organizations on the issue. In this interview with Joseph Confavreux, he argues that the draw of IS is widely misunderstood, is not limited to disenfranchised communities, and that the organization can only be overcome by a different military, political and psychological approach by Western nations.

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A series of terrorist attacks in Paris last year and in Brussels in March were carried out in the name of the Islamic State group (IS) by gunmen and suicide bombers mostly of French and Belgian nationality and of North African origin.