Document Type


Publication Date



terrorism, public schools, private schools, school choice, Islam, madrasa, Muslim, jihadist, right wing, homegrown terrorists


Some commentators argue that private religious schools are less likely to inculcate the attributes of good citizenship than traditional public schools, specifically proposing that private Islamic schools are relatively more likely to produce individuals sympathetic to terrorism. This study offers a preliminary examination of the question by studying the educational backgrounds of Western educated terrorists. While data are limited, in accord with prior work findings indicate the vast majority of both Islamic and reactionary terrorists attended traditional public schools and had no religious education; hence findings suggest that early religious training and identification may actually encourage prosocial behavior.

Series Title

EDRE Working Paper

Series Number