WASHINGTON (AP) - Since 2001, al-Qaida is believed to have sent three men out to blow up U.S. jetliners. Two of them tried, but failed. A third backed out of his assignment.
Why? His family.
A new report from the Washington Institute for Near East Policy looks at dozens of terrorists, in an effort to learn what motivates so-called terrorism dropouts and how others might be influenced to turn away from violence. In many cases, contact with family can make the difference.
But it doesn't always work. In some cases, al-Qaida has paid extra to married men, giving them time off and encouraging them to recruit their spouses to the cause. Generally, however, al-Qaida discourages terrorism recruits from keeping in touch with family, so they can stay focused.