Why terrorist bosses are micro-managing dicks


So meet the new revolutionary liberator boss, same as the old capitalist white-devil boss.

Maybe Mike Judge could do an ‘Office Space’ adaptation, set in the caves of Tora Bora.
“…they’ve moved my desk four times already this year…”


Now I’m curious where the supply of suitably motivated, detail-oriented, micromanaging dicks comes from.

It isn’t that hard to find people just raring to kill or die for their cause; but people willing to play micro-middle-manager for their cause? That’s some weird devotion right there. Especially since you don’t associate the sort of people who voluntarily play expense-report hardass with the sort of risk tolerance that occupying a position in terrorist leadership requires.

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Hence the role of agents provocateurs

“…was hounded out of the Al-Qaeda…”

La Brea tar pits
ATM machine

“Sigh, good help is hard to find.” <–To be read in a Bela Lugosi accent.

Oh, thank goodness! He meant managers OF terrorists, and ‘micro-managing’ as an adjective. I had this instant horrifying mental image of a bunch of pointy-haired bosses lined up in front of a row of urinals with magnifying glasses and q-tips in hand!


There are plenty of dedicated middle managers working in defence industries around the world who enjoy their jobs in the full knowledge that their product is used to kill and maim people.


“a chaotic series of overlapping, self-defeating attacks and out-of-control spending”

Sounds like the results America ends up with, as a result of its good operational security. :slight_smile:

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Attention, all non-commissioned officers will report for short-arm inspection at 0400. That is all.

In exchange, this piece from the Atlantic in 2001 about how terrorists - at least once - successfully wound-up their operation: http://www.theatlantic.com/past/docs/issues/2001/12/hoffman.htm

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What this tells me is that their soldiers are victims, too, and that targeting the leadership is justifiable and a proper course. It is really too bad about war and collateral damage. Let’s do our best to do the least damage to those who are unfortunate to be standing nearby. (See, it really is easy to understand what is going on without invoking neck-breaking secret initiatives.)

This chimes with what Loretta Napoleoni said about the hierarchy of the Red Brigade at TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/loretta_napoleoni_the_intricate_economics_of_terrorism.html

But she suggested the leaders sought out compliant underlings.

I can’t be the only one who thinks of the Coneheads when he sees the name " Moktar Belmoktar" can I?

I completely misinterpreted the meaning of this title.

Not just did I honestly think, but I was actually really curious to know the reasons why terrorist bosses would be so strict regarding their employees’ penises.


Gives new meaning to the term “nitpickers.”

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True enough; but their risk/reward structure is rather different. It’s not that finding people willing to oil the cogs of your ghastly death machine is difficult; but that finding detail-oriented micromanagers willing to hide in dank caves and risk death by drone (rather than, say, pushing paper for a nice, respectable, violence solutions provider) seems like it would be a challenge.

A: “…if they take my stapler again I’m going to burn down the building.”

B: “Fahran, you’re SUPPOSED to burn down the building. That’s why we planted you there in the first place!”


They likely don’t like their other choices. People who join (decentralized, persistent) terrorist orgs out of practical considerations believe that the current legitimized government can’t or won’t provide for them or their families (owing to clan feuds, sectarian differences, etc)

It’s a weird catch-22 that works with oppression sometimes–people always love to justify authoritarianism by saying that if people are so oppressed why aren’t they revolting, and then the second people do they get slapped with the “terrorist” label.

Long story short: Dilbert comics aside, middle managers frequently possess families and motivations for doing what they do.

Humiliated terrorist: “Do you really have to use the term MICRO-manage?”

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