The human bomber has come to symbolize a new kind of political violence, one that is aimed at civilians, is intended to cause fear and terror and is claimed to be linked to cosmic religion. What do the ideologies and activities of Al Qaeda and associated militia tell us about political violence in many contemporary societies? How do ideas about aesthetics and virtue work in Al Qaeda's politics? What might the momentous revolutions in the Middle East and continuing violence in South Asia mean for Al Qaeda's future strategies?
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