Gambetta and Hertog painstakingly gather together data on individuals belonging to a variety of terrorist groups in the Muslim world. Where they are able to get the data, it displays a compelling pattern – engineers are much more prone to become members of violent terrorist organizations.
More than twice as many members of violent Islamist organizations have engineering degrees as have degrees in Islamic studies. Nearly half of those terrorists who had degrees had degrees in engineering. Even if you make extremely generous assumptions, nine times as many terrorists were engineers as you would expect by chance. They find a similar pattern among Islamist terrorists who grew up in the West – fewer of these terrorists had college degrees, but even more of those who had degrees were engineers.