O papa parece considerar que sim.
No entanto, tal parece ser desmentido pela evidência empírica:
Cash rewards and poverty alone do not explain terrorism [PDF], por Alan Kruguer (2003):
The stereotype that terrorists are driven to extremes by economic deprivation may never have held anywhere, least of all in the Middle East. New research by Claude Berrebi, a graduate student at Princeton, has found that 13 percent of Palestinian suicide bombers are from impoverished families, while about a third of the Palestinian population is in poverty. A remarkable 57 percent of suicide bombers have some education beyond high school, compared with just 15 percent of the population of comparable age.Apesar de tudo, pode haver um efeito indireto - por regra geral, os países com um nível de vida elevado tendem a ter mais liberdades civis do que os países em que há muito pobreza; o sentido da relação causa- efeito (se é que há algum) é discutível, mas se a pobreza contribuir para restrições das liberdades civis, e se (como parece demonstrado) poucas liberdades civis conduzem a terrorismo, então poderá haver aqui um canal indireto pelo qual a pobreza acabe por causar terrorismo; note-se que este mecanismo indireto não implica que os terroristas sejam pessoalmente pobres: mesmo que seja a pobreza a causar regimes autoritários, o autoritarismo afeta toda a gente vivendo nessas sociedades, sejam pobres ou, digamos, jovens universitários ou recém-licenciados da classe média-alta.
This evidence corroborates findings for other Middle Eastern and Latin American terrorist groups. There should be little doubt that terrorists are drawn from society's elites, not the dispossessed. (...)
It is still possible that well-off people in poor countries with oppressive governments are drawn to terrorism. (...)
To investigate this possibility, I have analyzed data the State Department collects on significant international terrorist incidents. The home countries of the perpetrators of each event were identified. More terrorists do come from poor countries than rich ones, but this is because poor countries tend to lack civil liberties.
Once a country's degree of civil liberties is taken into account -- measured by Freedom House, a nonprofit organization that promotes democracy, as the extent to which citizens are free to develop views, institutions and personal autonomy without interference from the state -- income per capita bears no relation to involvement in terrorism. Countries like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, which have spawned relatively many terrorists, are economically well off yet lacking in civil liberties. Poor countries with a tradition of protecting civil liberties are unlikely to spawn terrorists.
Evidently, the freedom to assemble and protest peacefully without interference from the government goes a long way to providing an alternative to terrorism. (...)
The ultimate joke would be if civil liberties are sacrificed in the fight against terrorism, as a lack of civil liberties seems to be a main cause of terrorism around the world. Support for civil liberties should be part of the arsenal in the war against terrorism, both at home and abroad.