After the Las Vegas shooting, the largest mass shooting in U.S. history, the ghoulish debate resumed over the demographics of killers. Are they white? Immigrants? Muslims? Christians? Young? One thing is certain: they're almost all men.
I look at these questions -- and the impulse to ask these questions in the first place -- in The Atlantic. This is not the first instance of a statistically-based report on terrorism dissolving under scrutiny.
(Also worth a look: Daniel Engber's discussion of the same topics in Slate.)
Sebastian Gorka, the terror-maestro of the Trump White House, argues that jihadism is a unified front, and that policy should reflect that. He remains wrong. But many of those who disagree with him share the general view that the distinctions between Al Qaida and the Islamic State are, in the main, cosmetic.
I reviewed Ali Soufan's The Anatomy of Terror in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.