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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201462 Find in a Library
Title: Understanding the Terrorist Mind-Set
Journal: FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin  Volume:72  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:7-10
Author(s): Randy Borum Ph.D.
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 4
Sponsoring Agency: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: HTML|PDF
Type: Instructional Material
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article explains the process for understanding the ideology and behavior of a terrorist, recognizing that understanding one's enemy is critical in developing defensive measures against terrorists.
Abstract: There are four stages in the development of an ideology that leads to terrorist acts against civilians in targeted groups. An extremist individual or group first identifies some type of undesirable event or condition ("it's not right"). Perceptions of what constitutes a serious wrong will depend on the prior mind-set of the individual or persuasion from another person or group that has already decided that a wrong has been done that adversely affects them. The perceived negative act or condition is then framed as an "injustice." Because injustice generally stems from the perceived behavior of a group or nation, extremists then target the group as being responsible for the injustice that has adversely affected their lives. This group is then demonized such that it is deemed inherently evil without hope of change through peaceful, diplomatic means. Terrorists then target for violence any and all members of the demonized group, without reference to their individual responsibility for the perceived injustice. The behavioral tactics as well as the ideology of a group must also be analyzed. Behavioral tactics pertain to what extremists are likely to do in order to harm and attempt to destroy the group they deem responsible for their adverse condition. It is important to understand why the extremist adopts certain tactics, so countermeasures will be tailored to the nature of the threat.
Main Term(s): Domestic Preparedness
Index Term(s): Counter-terrorism tactics; Terrorism causes; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist tactics
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