“Anthropologist Scott Atran speaks out,” Fox News, The Real Story, with Gretchen Carlson, 4 Feb 2015
Fox News Channel Anthropologist Scott Atran Speaks out on Why the Caliphate is a serious world historical movement and why Islam, like Christianity, has no fixed interpretation even though there is a particularly brutal current now that must be met.

“Are We in a New Phase of Terrorism: The Agenda with Steve Paiken,” Canadian TV, 28 Jan 2015
From the Boston Marathon bombings to the attacks in Ottawa and Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu to the Paris shootings, a pattern of homegrown and inspired terrorism has emerged in the West. Are we in a new phase of terrorism? TV Debate on the Islamic State and terror on Western streets. Discussion around S. Atran’s “Talking to the Enemy”

“Scott Atran: Dizer que estes fanáticos nada têm a ver com o Islão é o cúmulo do politicamente correcto e é contraproducente” ANA GERSCHENFELD 27/01/2015, Público (Portugal)
O Corão está na base do terrorismo jihadista, como dizem alguns? Ou será que os sangrentos atentados perpetrados por jihadistas nada têm a ver com o Islão, como afirmam outros? Quem são os “muçulmanos moderados”? O que é a “comunidade muçulmana” de que tanto se tem falado nas últimas semanas? Estes clichés têm gerado muita confusão na opinião pública ocidental. Mas há cientistas que tentam perceber as raízes profundas do terrorismo para além das ideologias subjacentes….

“Looking for the roots of terrorism: Anthropologist Scott Atran,” by Sara Reardon, NATURE, 15 Jan 2015
In the wake of terrorist attacks last week on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Paris supermarket, the world has struggled to understand the combination of religion, European culture and influence from terrorist organizations that drove the gunmen. Scott Atran, an anthropologist at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, studies such questions by interviewing would-be and convicted terrorists about their extreme commitment to their organizations and ideals. Atran recently returned from Paris, where he talked with members of the shooters’ communities. He spoke with Nature about what he discovered.

Scott Atran “Todos los políticos son esclavos de intelectuales muertos” María Teresa GIMÉNEZ BARBAT | Publicado el 03/01/2014 | EL CULTURAL (EL MUNDO), Spain
La antropología está hoy a la vanguardia del sector más avanzado de las ciencias sociales, aquel que, desde disciplinas como la lingüística, la psicología evolucionista y cognitiva o la etnobiología, está desvelando a toda velocidad los misterios de la naturaleza humana. Y en estas lides, uno de los antropólogos punteros es el estadounidense Scott Atran que recientemente se acaba de instalar en Barcelona, circunstancia que no podíamos dejar de aprovechar para conversar con él sobre la cultura, el fanatismo religioso, los valores sagrados, la religión, la ideología o la política….

“What we can learn from Boston,” MSNBC with Steve Kornacki, April 27, 2013
Ramzi Kassem, associate professor at the City University of New York Law School, New York Magazine contributing editor Lisa Miller, University of Michigan professor Scott Atran, and former Republican Congresswoman Nan Hayworth join Up host Steve Kornacki to discuss the latest in the Boston bombing investigation.

Scott Atran – What Makes a Terrorist? with Chris Mooney, April 23, 2013
Back in the summer of 2011—just before the 10 year anniversary of 9/11—this show welcomed on Scott Atran, an anthropologist who is a leading expert on terrorism and violent extremism. Now, in the wake of the Boston bombings and the dramatic capture of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, we called Atran back to discuss the first large scale U.S. terrorist bombing since 9/11. As Atran’s research shows, the Tsarnaev brothers share many parallels with other young, disaffected men who opt for extremist violence around the world. But Atran’s broader conclusion from the past week may be an unsettling one: When we devote such massive societal attention to a few homegrown terrorists, we may not ultimately be doing ourselves any favors.

Fox News “How homergrown terrorists become radicalized” on “America Live with Megyn Kelly” (S. Atran, Apr 22, 2013, video stream 5:37)
The pathway to radicalization and violence of the Boston bombers follows along some predictable trajectories. The media’s role in helping terrorists terrorize through an overwought response is discussed.

“Religion Causes Conflict with Outsiders, Makes Members Cooperate,” with David Pakman, FS TV, 20 Feb 2013
Scott Atran, Anthropologist and Psychologist at the University of Michigan, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Oxford University & Author of ‘Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists’ joins David to discuss the effect of religion or lack thereof as a source of conflict or cooperation.

“Promoure l’islam moderat no serveix per a res,” by LLUÍS MARTÍNEZ, EL PUNT AVUI (Barcelona), 2 Feb 2013
Scott Atran (Nova York, 1952), catedràtic de psicologia de la Universitat de Michigan, és un dels màxims experts en la mentalitat del terrorista suïcida. Ha contribuït a desfer molts tòpics sobre aquest fenomen i ha ajudat a entendre’l. Fa unes setmanes va participar a Barcelona en un debat de neuroètica organitzat per diverses entitats, entre les quals, Biocat i la Fundació de l’Obra Social de La Caixa

“Talking to the enemy: Scott Atran presents another way to think of terrorists,” PRI Public International Radio, 28 May 2012
For more than a decade anthropologist Scott Atran has traveled around the world interviewing Islamic terrorists. He has talked with suicide bombers in prison and jihadist leaders in training camps. His research explores the thinking behind terrorist behavior. Scott Atran does not think terrorists are so different from the rest of society….

SCIENCE magazine Live Chat: Why Do We Fight? with Scott Atran & Steven Neuberg, May 17, 2012
The modern world is driven by war and conflict, much of it fueled by tension and suspicion among ethnic and religious groups. What are the evolutionary roots of prejudice and war? What drives suicide bombers to kill themselves? And given our history, will we ever be able to live in a world without war?

“Anders Breivik is a terrorist, so we should treat him like one,” by J. Friedland, THE GUARDIAN, 20 April 2012
We cannot apply different standards to terrorists depending on whether they are fanatics of the white supremacist or jihadist variety. And yet we do just that. Scott Atran, an eminent anthropologist who has briefed American officials on the nature of terrorism, explains that we adopt radically different approaches depending on whether we believe the threat is from within or without. Outside attackers, like the 9/11 hijackers, are treated only in terms of the impact and consequences of their actions; those who come from “our side”, as the Norwegians see Breivik, are examined for their intentions, what made them act the way they did. Witness the case of Robert Bales, the US soldier who murdered 16 civilians in Afghanistan. “When it all comes out, it will be a combination of stress, alcohol and domestic issues – he just snapped,” said the US military spokesman. It was personal, not political. Had it been an Afghan soldier killing Americans, it would have been the other way around. It’s clear why we might do this. We can unite against an outside enemy; if the threat is from within, we want to believe it amounts to no more than a single, lone madman. “People don’t want to probe,” says Atran. “They want to be reassured.” But this division, instinctive as it might be, is not really defensible. Terrorist murder is terrorist murder, and we need to treat it that way – even when the killer looks like us.

“Cue the tears: Loss, fear, coercion and self-interest drive North Korea’s mass grief over Kim,” WashingtonPost & Foreign Policy (AP), 21 Dec 2011
“Mourning, like laughter, is contagious in a social network,” said Scott Atran, an American anthropologist who studies the psychology of groups at France’s National Center for Scientific Research. Smoking and obesity, among other traits, he said, are often tied to the influence of a person’s social mix. “People usually believe they are slightly exceptional to the norm. But if they want to be part of the group they overexaggerate and go toward the extreme of what they think the norm is,” Atran said. Such behavior is more pronounced among East Asians, whose societies are more geared toward the family and larger groups than Americans and other Westerners. Shown a picture of a school of fish with one outlying fish, Americans tend to describe the outlier as a “go-getter” while East Asians say the fish has been “punished” or “ostracized,” he said.

Al Jazeera, Scott Atran on Syrian President Assad, Al Jazeera, Dec. 6, 2011
Speaking to Al Jazeera, Scott Atran, a psychologist and anthropologist at France’s National Center for Scientific Research, says Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s behaviour shows he is removed from reality.

– “Scott Atran: ‘US foreign policy is set by people who’ve almost no insight into human welfare, education, labour, desires or hopes’ – video,” THE GUARDIAN, October 31, 2011 

“Entrevista a Scott Atran,” LA TERCERA CULTURA (Spain, 22 October 2011

“Lessons Learned: The Creation of Terrorists,” BLOGGINGHEADSTVE Video Broadcast, New York Times, with Robert Wright and Scott Atran, 17 September 2011
ROBERT WRIGHT, The Evolution of God, Nonzero SCOTT ATRAN University of Michigan, Talking to the Enemy Scott gives the war on terrorism a grade: D+ (05:12) How does a nice young man become a jihadist? (05:49) How to starve Al Qaeda (03:39) Bob: The most dangerous guy in Al Qaeda will always exist (05:54) How should we have responded to 9/11? (03:24) Why can’t we be friends? (04:26)

“Scott Atran on Talking to the Enemy,” NPR, 11 Septembre 2011
If someone wants to kill you, should you talk to them? Anthropologist Scott Atran has spent a decade talking with jailed suicide bombers and jihadist leaders. He says they’re motivated by core human values: brotherhood, loyalty and the dream of a better world.

Pour Scott Atran, directeur de recherche au CNRS, professeur adjoint de Psychologie, d’anthropologie et de ressources Naturelles à l’Université de Michigan, le 11-Septembre n’est pas le pire traumatisme que les Etats-Unis aient vécu, ni Al-Qaïda l’épicentre organisé du mal tel qu’on se le représente. Quant à la réaction des l’administration Bush, elle a été impulsive et néfaste. Propos recueillis par Marie Desnos –

“9/11 + 10: The terrorism expert,” MICHIGAN TODAY, 8 September 2011
Scott Atran is a world-renowned expert on terrorism and terrorists. His research and his book “Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists” derive from years in the field interviewing terrorists from around the globe. He is a professor of public policy and of psychology at the University of Michigan, a Presidential Scholar at John Jay University, and Director of Anthropological Research at the National Center of Scientific Research in Paris. Michigan Today contacted asked for his insights into the status of terrorism ten years after 9/11.

“Violent Extremism and Sacred Values,” CFI Point of Inquiry and Discover magazine, 29 August 2011
Host: Chris Mooney In less than two weeks, the ten year anniversary of the deadliest terror attack on U.S. soil—9/11—will be upon us. In the past decade, there has been much debate and discussion about the root causes of terrorism and violent extremism. There has also been considerable scientific study of the matter. Fortunately, Point of Inquiry recently caught up with the anthropologist Scott Atran, a world leader in this research. Atran has met with terrorists face to face. He has interviewed mujahedin, met with Hamas, talked to the plotters of the Bali bombing-and sometimes found his life at risk by doing so. There’s probably nobody better if you want to talk about terrorism, what motivates it, and how these extremes fit within the broad tapestry of human nature. Scott Atran is a research director in anthropology at the French National Center for Scientific Research, and holds a variety of appointments at other academic institutions. He’s also the author of several books including In Gods We Trust: The Evolutionary Landscape of Religion and Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists. He has published frequent op-eds in the New York Times and his research has been published in Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and other leading publications.

Global Axess – heliga krigare (Scott Atran on Swedish television, June 2011)
Scott Atran talking about Violent Extremism and Sacred Values

Psychologie Heute, “interview mitt Scott Atran,” Ingrid Glomp, August 2011
In German and English

“Exclusive from Scott Atran: Talk with the Taliban, Better Now than later,” by Tom Hayden, THE PEACE & JUSTICE RESOURCE CENTER, June 2011
I had dinner with someone pretty close to the Obama administration (an academic). He posed this problem to me: “The President may agree with you that the response to Islamic terrorism has been overplayed and that the threat to the United States does not merit the continued out-sized reaction. So here’s my question, “What to you advise the president to do to change political and public perception into something more in line with what you, and perhaps he, may believe? It obviously can’t be a sudden thing, but will require a number of small steps whose accumulation and collective weight may finally change the political landscape. Into this you have to figure that some people, important people, sincerely believe that the threat is as serious as they think. Others perversely play up the threat for political gain. But somehow, both groups have to be convinced or outmaneuvered to change their attitudes as well.” I took the question to the University of Virginia Miller Center and the University of Michigan’s Ford School and the responses I got were all data-driven, fact-based arguments. While I see their usefulness (and that’s what I’ve been feeding you), in the end it has more to do I think with dealing with our own irrational fears, vengeance, humiliation and the like. Because, if you think rationally about Al Qaeda, terrorism, and Afghanistan, it’s clear that Al Qaeda is only a very marginal part of the Islamic world, rejected by nearly all, and even more so now. It got lucky and we felt humiliated….

‘A internet é o único lugar onde a Al Qaeda floresce’, VEJA (Brazil), 11 April 2011
Estudioso do terrorismo, o americano Scott Atran afirma que um grande descrédito pesa sobre a rede de Osama bin Laden, e que sua principal arma hoje em dia é a web….

“The Doug Noll Show,” March 31, 2011
Sacred Values, Not Rational Choice, Drive Decisions to Go to War, with Professor Scott Atran – Is war based on rational decision making? If you were to ask politicians and policy makers, they would probably say “Yes, of course it is.” But if you dig a little deeper, you might be surprised to find that war is rarely based on rationality. Instead, it seems to be based on a complex set of emotional and cognitive processes unrelated to cool calculation of cost versus benefit. On this edition of The Doug Noll Show, we will talk about war and rational choice, especially as it pertains to the US choices in Libya, Iraq, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. My guest is Professor Scott Atran

“Demonstrations, Hopes and Dreams,” Interview with Scott Atran, for “On Being” American Public Radio 10 Feb 2011, NPR 13 Feb 2011
We make deeper sense of the human dynamics unfolding in the Middle East and North Africa. Anthropologist Scott Atran offers bracing context on the promise of this moment and the response it asks from the watching world….

“Here on Earth,” (NPR Wisconsin) Pick of the Week for Nov 24, Scott Atran’s “Talking to The Enemy”

BBC Radio “Night Waves,” Nov. 17, 2010
Scott Atran is director of research in anthropology at the National Centre for Scientific Research in Paris. His new book Talking to the Enemy attempts to answer the question: Why would someone take their own life through suicide bombing? He joins Philip to discuss the motivation of terrorists and why peer pressure is more important than religious ideology in understanding the rise of violent extremism.

“Frost Over The World,” Al Jazeera, Nov. 12, 2010
David Frost interviews anthropologist Scott Atran about his new book, Talking to the Enemy, in which he argues that in order to understand terrorism we need to consider the relationships terrorists have with their friends and family as much as their religious motivations

Address to the Royal Society of the Arts, London, Nov. 8, 2010 )
RSA presents Talking to the Enemy

NPR, “The Leonard Lopate Show,” Nov. 5, 2010
Social scientist Scott Atran traces terrorism’s root causes in human evolution and history. In Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood, and the (Un)Making of Terrorists he touches on the nature of faith, the origins of society, the limits of reason, and the power of moral values. He interviews and investigates Al Qaeda associates and acolytes, and other non-Qaeda groups, such as Hamas and the Taliban, and the communities they live in: from the jungles of Southeast Asia to New York, London, and Madrid.

Morning Joe, MSNBC, Oct. 27, 2010
“Taliban Should Work With US,” Scott Atran Says

Cultural Heritage & Arts Review (The American Society of International Law), Vol. 1, Issue 1, Spring 2010
Q&A with Cultural Anthropologist Scott Atran In this Q&A, renowned cultural anthropologist Scott Atran addresses the problem of dealing with cultural sensitivities in global conflict. Early in his career, Atran was an assistant to Margaret Mead at the American Museum of Natural History, and has since become an authority in his own right, publishing numerous books and articles on culture and anthropology. Atran’s recent work has focused on the clash of traditional and global cultures in the making of terrorist networks. He has recently been advising the government on developing field-based scientific understanding of pathways to and from seemingly intractable political and cultural conflicts. He is a professor at the University of Michigan and John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and Director of Anthropological Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. His most recent book, “Talking to the Enemy: Faith, Brotherhood and the (Un)Making of Terrorists,” will be released this Fall.

“The AGENDA,” with Steve Paikin, Canadian TV broadcast April 21, 2010
Anthropologist Scott Atran and how we react to terrorist threats.

CNN with Melissa Long, December 10, 2009
ATRAN: …. Look, you know, there’s this idea that there is this clash of civilizations, but basically it’s a collapse of civilizations. It’s just the opposite. Young people are being unmoored from the millenial traditions, especially immigrants into this country. And they go — as I said, they go out looking for meaning in life and they hook up with their friends. And through friendship, you can do powerful things. You become committed to one another. No one ever goes out and dies just for a cause. They do it for one another. And again, nothing is more powerful than doing something for your friends and gaining esteem in the eyes of your peers. And it’s pretty much homegrown. I mean, about 80 percent of all the plots both in Europe and the United States are done from the bottom, up, from young people just meeting up with one another. Most of it stays in the realm of fantasy, but a few go on and pave their own way into Pakistan or Afghanistan and then come back with a mission….

Mònica Terribas entrevista Scott Atran, “La Nit al Dia,” TV3 Spain and Televisio de Catalunya
Interview on who are the terrorists today, November 21, 2007

REDES con Eduard Poncet 439 [Spanish Television, 10/06/2007] -Como se hace un terrorista
Se creía, y estaba verificado, que los terroristas por regla general, eran incultos, dependientes y marginados. Pero ahora sabemos que hay un alto porcentaje de personas cultas, con formación superior. Esto nos lleva a replantearnos la manera de analizar este fenómeno mundial, y así lo haremos esta semana. Las motivaciones de un terrorista suicida son muy diversas. No hay un perfil y por ello se hace más difícil identificarlos. No se puede combatir el terrorismo sin comprender la complejidad de los factores sociales, culturales y emocionales que influyen en los procesos internos de estas personas. ¿Cómo se hace un terrorista? ¿Qué les lleva a inmolarse? Scott Atran es profesor de la Universidad de Michigan y Directeur de Recherche del CNRS en París. Sus campos de investigación son muy amplios, y desde la antropología aborda la toma de decisiones, los valores culturales, la etnografía de Oriente Medio y, sobre todo, el fenómeno del terrorismo, del que hablaremos con él en esta entrevista Contaremos además con las interesantes experiencias y opiniones de Esteban Beltrán, Director de Amnistía Internacional España.

National Public Radio
Morning Edition, April 25, 2007 · Moroccan authorities believe the town of Tetuan has sent as many as 30 suicide bombers from the North African village to Iraq. Scott Atran, senior fellow at City University of New York’s Center on Terrorism, briefed the National Security Council on the issue in March.

CNN Television with Renay San-Miguel
Interview on eve of Iraq war (Note: former Ambassador Joseph Wilson was in the waiting room with me railing against Administration insinuations that Saddam had been seeking materials for nuclear weapons in Africa; when I asked the CNN people on hand if they were going to investigate Wilson’s complaints, one answered “not now, because if we fall further behind FOX in the ratings, we get the axe.” “That,” I commented, “is a sad position for our Republic.” Wilson’s story finally appeared in a July 2003 op-ed in the New York Times)

CNN International, “Hardwired for Faith,” by Chris Galijan, 5 April 2007

NPR 3/7/03
What Makes a Suicide Bomber?

CNN television with Wolf Blitzer
31 March 2003

Voice of America
22 May 2003

“Discover Dialogue: Anthropologist Scott Atran,” by J. Glausiuscz,
Discover Magazine, October 2003

BBC 3/17/04
Emphasis on Catching Osama Bin Laden — from BBC Newshour

NPR 3/18/04
Should we downgrade the importantance of Osama Bin Laden? (NPR 3/18/04)

BBC 3/20/04
Suicide Bombers Satisfied by Concessions?

CNN television with Carol Lin
20 March 2004

Fox News Television
29 March 2004

ABC Discover Minutes
June 2004

ABC Discover Minutes
January 2005

BBC World Service News Hour
On the London Bombings and the jihadi diaspora

Probe into Bali Bombings
National Public Radio, “All Things Considered,” October 4, 2005

Robert Wright and Scott Atran discuss terrorism in wake of Boston bombing,, April 24, 2013
Robert Wright and Scott Atran How the media makes terrorism more likely 7:08 Why can’t we keep calm and carry on? 6:24 Lessons from the anarchist menace 3:37 What role does US foreign policy play in radicalization? 8:01 How to weaken the jihadist narrative 9:08 What the FBI should have done with Tamerlan Tsarnaev 8:32