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The KVA aren't really a terrorist group - they're just Atlas operatives.

Why would the KVA, supposed luddites who want humans to return to primitivism through vague messages, still field drones, exoskeletons, advanced armor, and rely on very modern technology?

Simple. It's Irons' private joke. Throw around menacing voices and a few bullets, get enough dead bodies, and you've got people running scared. Recruit a couple of die-hard eco-terrorists rotting in prison, impressionable college radicals, criminals who are itching to get out of jail, half-insane wackos who'd be on the street, and plain ol' bad guys and regular terrorists Atlas captured and locked away, who'll jump at the chance to cause mayhem and give them to one of your trusted operatives to rally under. Pick out a few names from the alphabet, and bam! Instant terror group.

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Does it matter that the terrorists' messages are ludicrous? No, because, as Irons says, might makes right, and what's more mighty than a well-armed terrorist group who just brought the world to its knees? After all, ISIS would be dismissed as another delusional fundamentalist group extreme enough to want to attack the most sacred of holy sites in Islam, if they weren't sweeping through Iraq like a fire.

  • Well, that would probably explain why the KVA operatives always seem to speak English, even amongst themselves...the whole "anti-technology" angle seems to only be part of their message, though. Little snippets of info hidden in the briefing scenes seem to indicate that Hades, back in the 2040s, started out as an influential anti-Western scholar/lecturer in his native Chechnya— given where he's from, it's not hard to imagine that he'd sincerely hate the West and all that it stands for. And from there, it's easy to extrapolate that the KVA only acquired its Luddite ideals later on, reasoning that advanced technology (as in, the kind the US and Europe invade little desert nations with) was the tool with which the West sought to enslave the Third World. As for why they'd use it themselves...well, it's kinda hard to fight back against people as well-equipped as Atlas without technology. And even then, they're still not on par with them— none of the KVA wear exosuits. The idea of the KVA being nothing but an Atlas ruse makes sense, but at the same time, it also kinda stretches disbelief— for Irons to have created it over 15 years before the main plot seems to suggest Aizen-esque levels of planning.
    • Well, Irons did let Atlas sit on its thumb until it was too late to really stop the reactor overloads, and the KVA are way more organized and well-equipped than any other anti-Western terrorist group out there. This is also the same corporation that was ludicrously powerful even before the reactor attacks, too.

Jonathan Irons was always planning to turn his back on the world.
Irons had always intended for Atlas to stand at the forefront of military power in opposition of the stagnated governments since the beginning. The death of his son while serving in the military only motivated him towards his goal as well as his indictment that national military is no longer necessary but did not actually inspire his direction. Irons is the sitting CEO of the world's largest standing military and himself ascribes the constant turmoil in the world to the ineffectual and misguided principles of government. So creating the Manticore bioweapon was destined to happen as part of his vision and he had not fallen off some
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Despair Event Horizon in the wake of Will's death that pushed him to be so extreme.

Jonathan Irons is Keyser Soze in a different identity.
After escaping the cops, Soze founded Atlas as a way to expand his operations. The operations conducted by Atlas are merely publicity stories that hide the true intention of their ventures: Extremely daring heists.
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