Removing them from their family and their homeland -- both typically Muslim and accepting of Islam's traditions -- and putting them into a foreign setting, typically in Europe or the United States, she said, almost serves to cement fundamentalist teachings that Westerners and their beliefs are threatening.
"Psychologically speaking, they go to colleges .. where they are not part of the crowd, they are not treated with respect," Lieberman said.
Bursztajn countered that it is their choice to stand out, their choice to not fit in and their choice to to try an exterminate anyone who is different.
He quoted Sigmund Freud in saying, "human beings can be both for better or for worse than we can imagine."
"The news," Bursztajn said, "still reminds us of that, doesn't it?"
Adulbmutallab, in particular, not only came from a large Muslim family -- he's the youngest of 16 children -- he was the son of a wealthy banker.
Of course, college doesn't create terrorists from scratch, she pointed out, and men like Abdulmutallab go in with a certain amount of prejudice to begin with. Then they have to learn to deal with cliques, competition from pretty girls and other challenges that likely don't come easy.
"And you put this on top of an Islamic education, or a radical Islamic education and it crystallizes that, yes indeed, these people are the enemy," Lieberman said.
"It's kind of like the Columbine killers meet radical Islam," she said. "It's a revenge fantasy that they attach to a higher purpose."
Garrett noted that the ages of some of the terrorists in recent years -- Abdulmutalllab is 23 -- can be a factor as can some degree of mental instability.
"It certainly is an age when people are becoming more independent," he said.
For now, Abdulmutallab's world is confined to the walls of a federal corrections facility in Milan, Mich., about 50 miles outside of Detroit. Though billed as a low security prison, a Bureau of Prisons spokeswoman told ABCNews.com that it is equipped to handle high-risk inmates.
He was transferred to the Milan facility on Sunday after being released from the University of Michigan Medical Center, where he was treated for the second-degree burns he suffered when the explosive device ignited a fire in his pants. The Bureau of Prison declined to comment of Abdulmutallab's medical condition today, saying that information was being kept private.