I have a theory about why young muslim men can be persuaded to commit suicide for a cause: polygamy.
It is mathematically impossible for all young men to get married if they live in a society that allows men to have multiple wives, but does not allow women to have more than one husband. The ratio of men to women in Afghanistan is 1.05 to 1, hardly enough to accommodate a polygamous lifestyle. In Saudi Arabia, home to bin Laden, the ratio is even worse: 1.27 for each woman.
Is it any surprise that suicide "martyrs" are promised a harem in heaven? Islamic law limits the number of wives to four (although bin Laden's slutty daddy had twelve -- apparently you can bend the laws if you're rich even in Islam). And although polygamy is permitted, there has to be a good reason for it. The man also has to prove that he is able to treat all the wives and children equally, i.e. besides being affectionate to them all he has to provide material support.
I haven't seen anybody else make that connection. This article on infidels.org brought it to mind today, especially this part:
They did it for the wimmin. Believing that Heaven is a real place was prerequisite of course, but Heaven had to have more appeal than the Judeo-Christian ideal of an eternity of floating around in space and praising God's arse for eternity. I think it's amusing that they expected virgins, though. The reason for wanting a virgin on Earth presumably has something to do with ensuring your children will really be yours. There's no pregnancy in Heaven, so why not have a harem of prostitutes? They'd be a lot more fun.
mix of possible motivations. Add the gullibility of religious adherents who will believe anything, and you can promise them the most ridiculous things to get them to off themselves. The 9/11 hijackers certainly seemed to have polygamous ambitions.