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Inside Terrorism : Psychological And Behavioral Factors

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Inside Terrorism: Psychological and Behavioral Factors Terrorism is a difficult issue to understand and grasp for many people. What is even more difficult to understand is what drives an individual to become radicalized to the point of joining a terrorist organization and committing terrorist acts. While there is not specific criteria or a “cookie cutter” approach to understanding what motivates and radicalizes an individual to participate in such atrocities, there are however, several psychological and behavioral factors that have been common among these individuals. The following paper will outline some of the psychological and behavioral factors that attribute to an individual’s radicalization and eventual willingness and even perhaps…show more content…
“Stairs narrow toward the top. It becomes harder to turn back with each step” (Kershaw, 2010). As said before, there is not a “cookie cutter” definition of what creates a terrorist. One thing is very evident, the radicalization process of an individual is complex, diverse, and is often comprised of idiosyncratic characteristics. The first factor is that of victimization. Victimization is when an individual feels as though he or she has fallen victim to something, such as a physical, psychological, or financial harm. Individuals who are victimized feel as though they are missing something and are eager to be a part of something bigger than themselves, and terrorist organizations can fill those needs. An example of how victimization can attribute to the radicalization of an individual is if an individual lost family or friends in a drone strike conducted by the United States of America. The family and friends killed in the drone strike leaves the individual feeling scared, angry, and sad with a hunger for revenge. A terrorist organization such as Al Qaeda could be very intriguing to that individual because of their mission to wage war against and destroy the United States of America. Victimization is a dangerous factor because it can easily feed into other factors and victims can easily be manipulated into believing certain things, one of those things being religion. Religion is a very important factor that plays a key role in the radicalization of an
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