The Psychology of Terrorist Group Recruitment

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Introduction One of the most complex aspects of counterterrorism (CT) for the intelligence community (IC), law enforcement (LE), and CT communities is the psychology of terrorism. In the broad study of the psychology of terrorism, a highly misunderstood and challenging subject area is the recruitment of terrorists. A “normal,” rational person would wonder why an individual would pledge to commit acts of terror that would inflict lethal or grave danger upon innocent civilians for a politically educed cause. When in matter of fact, that rational person could also be susceptible to recruitment by a terrorist organization based upon any anti-political ideologies they may hold against their respected government. There are many reasons an …show more content…
What is Terrorism? To first understand what the complexity of the psychology of terrorist group recruitment is, the complication of 'what is terrorism' must first be understood for a full understanding of the phenomenon. There are many different definitions of terrorism and for the importance of simplicity the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) terrorism definition will be analyzed. According to the FBI, terrorism is defined by 18 U.S.C. And categorized as domestic and international terrorism. Domestic terrorism is defined as, “activities with the following three characteristics: (1) Involve acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; (2) Appear intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by mass destruction, assassination. or kidnapping; and (3) Occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.” (FBI, 2014). Whereas, International terrorism is defined as, “activities with the following three characteristics: (1) Involve violent acts or acts dangerous to human life that violate federal or state law; (2) Appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population; (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion; or (iii) to affect the conduct of a government by

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