A Palestinian professor at the Islamic University in Gaza says that terrorists are not motivated by “brainwashing” or poverty, but rather by their Muslim faith which “requires us to make sacrifices.”

The Middle East Media Research Institute posted an excerpt of a Hamas television interview with Dr. Subhi Al-Yazji in which he decried “biased media outlets” for promoting the brainwashing and poverty explanations for the terrorism phenomenon.

Al-Yazji referred to attacks against Israelis as “martyrdom operations” not terrorism.

“We must realize that the Islamic concept of sacrifice motivates many of our youth to carry out martyrdom operations,” said Al-Yazji. “Contrary to how they are portrayed by the West and some biased media outlets, which claim that they are youths of 18-20 years who have been brainwashed, most of the people who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Allah were engineers and had office jobs. They were all mature and rational.”

“Some people claim that they did this for the money. Take, for example, someone like brother Sa’d, who was an engineer, had an office job, owned a home and a car, and was married – what made him embark on Jihad? He believed that the Muslim faith requires us to make sacrifices.”

His analysis seemed to fit another notorious terrorist attack, not just the Islamist militant groups operating in Gaza such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

In his book Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It, former Los Angeles Times correspondent Terry McDermott noted that the hijackers were largely “young men from good backgrounds” who were motivated by radical Islam and jihad.

Most of the hijackers “were from families headed by tradesmen and civil servants, well-off, but not wealthy,” McDermott wrote according to a 2005 Washington Post book review.

MEMRI reported that the Gaza interview was originally broadcast on the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV channel on June 6. Here is the clip courtesy of MEMRI: