What Motivates Terrorists? Essay

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What Motivates Terrorists?


This paper will seek to understand what really motivates terrorists to commit the acts that make them so infamous. We are assuming that the chief motivating factor behind the decisions of terrorist organizations is the political outcome of their acts balanced against the risk and collateral damage inflicted to achieve this end. We will also weigh in the appeal of terrorism on potential recruits in weak states and determine how the motivations of the group become the motivation of the individual and how this benefits the decentralized organization of terrorist organizations like al Qaeda.

What Motivates Terrorists?

“Demoralize the enemy from within by surprise,

terror, sabotage,
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We assume the political options have been weighed and other political avenues are blocked leaving terrorists the only option left of resorting to the bombing of innocents. This marks the logic of terrorist groups as one of consequence. They have been made to resort to the decision to harm innocents. Al Qaeda loves to play the “you brought this upon yourselves” card to justify their actions.

The basic human rights are obviously violated by terrorist groups. The right to live free and without fear is taken from the innocent when a bomb explodes in their midst. This kind of collateral damage is justifiable by terrorists. The innocent become objects rather than human beings. The terrorist to meet their political agendas uses these objects. “In being treated as an object, the innocent victim is worse off than the (alleged) guilty victim. Insofar as the latter is judged to have done a wrong, he is thought of as a human” (Fotion, 1981).

These groups advocate that the loss of human rights for some will result in the respect of human rights for all. Essentially and end to war and a world ran by sharia. Even if their claims of unavoidable collateral damage were justifiable, that is not enough to make terrorism itself justified.

The argument exists that terrorists actually do not achieve their political goals by attacking
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