TUNIS, May 9 (Xinhua) -- A local academic study said on Wednesday that 90 percent of Tunisian terrorists have received a university education.
"These terrorists are from low-income neighborhoods, and have incomplete university education before joining terrorist groups," said Neji Jalloul, director general of Tunisian Institute for Strategic Studies (ITES), at a press conference on the study.
This qualitative study is intended to "identify the real motivations that push young people to become terrorists," explained Jalloul.
Conducted by ITES in collaboration with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, a Dutch study center and a U.S. study center from 2011 to 2014, the study interviewed 83 convicted terrorists in prison, and formed 18 focus groups.
Having returned from regions of conflict, "these terrorists have a weak sense of belonging to their homeland, with most of them overwhelmed by disappointment, marginalization and social injustice," Jalloul said.
"They have no confidence in the institutions of the state," he added.
Fakhreddine Louati, general coordinator of the study, also pointed to economic, political and cultural marginalization as the main motivations of young people to join terrorist groups.
"Terrorist groups exploited this loophole and offered an alternative to these young people who usually come from a middle or poor social class," noted Louati.
A new social system based on humanitarian security and an overhaul of health, economic, social and educational systems are needed to address the issue, he said.