What Drives Someone To Complete The Devastating Acts Of Terrorism?

2862 words - 11 pages

Since the darkest day, September 11, 2001, the citizens of The United States of America are on alert and are weary of acts of terrorism. One can turn on the television and can easily find an act of terrorism. Most recent acts are the Boston bombings or the bombings in Volgograd, and most recently the two bombings in Sochi. What drives someone to complete the devastating acts of terrorism? How can on predict, based off of antisocial behaviors, who is more likely to become a terrorist? Regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or racial background, experts agree terrorists share one common link: their childhood. One tends to be more susceptible to becoming a terrorist because of a traumatic event in their childhood to cause antisocial behavior. In fact one traumatic event, whether real or imagined, during childhood increases the likelihood of a person exhibiting anti-social behavior.
Terrorist typically have a path they follow which leads them to a life of violence and antisocial behavior. According to a New York Times’ article on the terrorist mind, terrorist have “extremist beliefs, which begins early in life; a strong sense of victimization and alienation” (Kershaw). Sarah Kershaw believes, a terrorist fears becoming alienated from society; therefore to prevent this alienation, they draw attention to themselves through acts of terrorism. However, a major trigger that pushes a person beyond the breaking point of a “normal” person to a terrorist is their own individual past. One can define a “normal” person as one who goes with the flow of society and does not act out in violence to voice their opinion. Rex Hudson also believes, “Terrorists are generally people who feel alienated” The event in the person’s past could range from a number of different events such as a death of a close friend or relative, disagreement with his or her parents’ political and religious views, or even the terrorist’s parents not giving them enough opportunities to choose for themselves what they want to believe in or how they want to live (Kershaw). For example Osama Bin Laden, disagreed with political views in his country and what did he do? He gained power and struck fear in people and gained their support to start the revolution for change.
All terrorist start their journey to terrorism early in childhood. Most terrorists have a “criminal mentality and had previous lives as criminals” (Kershaw). Terrorists are criminals; however, their crimes are on a larger scale and tend to be recognized throughout the world. Most terrorists have an “unconscious fear of mortality, of leaving no legacy” (Kershaw). This explains that a terrorist who upgraded from a criminal does not want to die without leaving a legacy behind. Also there is a “trigger of some kind to accelerate radicalization - for example, the politically related killing of a friend or relative” (Kershaw). Typically terrorists who started out with a low level criminal mindset, begin to think about dying without a...

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