We can speculate. Frustration about the Middle-East's position was bound to come out one way or another, it just happened to come out this way. I'd stress militant islamism's clandestine nature; it seems that there's the idea that modern Islamic states are corrupted, and fallen to Western influences. Since these states will not (openly) purify through violence since they need the West, frustration either channels through legalist Islamic movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, through the state, or semi-clandestine violence.
Why the Islamic world in particular seems susceptible to rather spectacular violence, at this moment? I couldn't say for sure. It's lazy to deny that something like jihadism, even though the concept has a lively history, would have ethical precedents in how Islam grew. Mohammed, the super-guy you can't say anything bad about, grew the Ummah through outright conquest and his 'rightly-guided' successors continued it. If you are a consistent Muslim, you have to agree at least partly that such rapid and aggressive conquest was somehow justified at the time.
The Islamic Middle-East also has a rich history of violent upheaval; polities replaced one another which a speed and intensity unheard of in Christian Europe (where states like France, England, and the Holy Roman empire lingered on in some state for centuries). In 1000 the Middle-East was (politically) dominated by shiites like the Buyids and the Fatimids. In 1200 the sunnis had competely reversed the situation, and the map was drastically changed. The Ottomans conquered land in Europe, but much more in the Middle East. Again, it's hard to say whether Islam has anything to do with this, but we can say that jihadis can point to a precedent of volatility.
Not helping the situation is the fact that many states in the Middle-East are postcolonial and quite artificially divided, grease for the jihadi mill which declares itself against such artificial borders. This is sometimes hard to get for Europeans, who live in uniquely homogeneous and cohesive societies.
Jihad is a word with a lively historical connotation and development. I believe it is as much about inner purification (or can be exclusively so) as outer violence towards threats to (your version of) Islam. Modern jihadism has its roots in salafism, which is itself a purification movement that wants to go back to the 'roots' of Islam. And how best to purify the Ummah by unshackling it from the colonial-imposed borders, from the 'degenerate' influence of the West, than by glorious violence?
So, to conclude: it's naive to say that Islamic history doesn't give jihadis arguments for violence, and they are probably inclined towards violent jihad due to a yearning for societal purification, perceived to be inachievable outside of violence do to the compromised nature of Islamic states.