A Study Of Terrorism And The Terrorist

2000 Words8 Pages
The study of terrorism and the terrorist is not something belonging to any particular discipline. What does forensic psychology have to offer? In the present political climate terrorism is a grave and growing concern for the national security of many countries. While it is important to acknowledge that acts of terrorism date back through centuries of recorded history, it is nevertheless apparent that today, the threat of terrorism is as dire, if not more so, than ever before. Terrorism dominates public and media attention compared to other types of violent offending (Ruby, 2002b), and 9/11 and the 7/7 London bombings have demonstrated the devastating capabilities attributable to successful terrorist acts. Thus, understanding terrorism and ‘what makes someone a terrorist’, with a view to predicting terrorist attacks and behaviour, is a concern shared by many domains, including forensic psychology (FP), criminology and political science. While Borum (2004) notes that FP does not provide the sole analytic framework with which to understand terrorism, it is important to recognise the contributions FP has made, and is still making, to the subject. Therefore, the present essay will discuss what FP has to offer in the study of terrorism with reference to past, present and potential directions for future research. Contributions of Forensic Psychology FP focuses on terrorism from an individual perspective. As Taylor points out: “individuals commit terrorist acts” (Taylor, 2012,
Open Document