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NCJ Number: 218208 Find in a Library
Title: Jihadist Beheading: A Convergence of Technology, Theology, and Teleology?
Journal: Studies in Conflict & Terrorism  Volume:30  Issue:4  Dated:April 2007  Pages:303-325
Author(s): Pete Lentini; Muhammad Bakashmar
Date Published: April 2007
Page Count: 23
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines Islamic jihadist terrorists' rationales for using the beheading of hostages as a tactic.
Abstract: The authors argue that jihadists have used the beheading of hostages for a range of reasons, including obtaining ransom payments for future hostages, obstructing foreign investment in Islamic countries, discrediting transitional states, and recruiting supporters. The videoing and dissemination of the beheadings of hostages for public viewing is intended to broadcast to both the Muslim and non-Muslim public contempt for and power over "infidels." Muslims who feel oppressed by adversaries are energized by the total control shown over perceived enemies, which motivates new recruits to the jihadists' cause. For non-Muslims, it is intended to strike fear and submission in those who would challenge jihadists' goals. A distinctive use of the beheading tactic was uncovered in the United Kingdom in early 2007. British authorities disrupted a jihadist terrorist cells allegedly plotting to kidnap and behead British Muslim soldiers who served in Afghanistan and Iraq and then broadcast the filmed executions on jihadist Web sites. This plot was aimed at producing fear in Muslims living in the United Kingdom, so they would not support or serve the British Government in its campaign against jihadists. The authors view jihadist beheadings as an evolution of the historic practice of terrorist hostage-taking. 90 notes
Main Term(s): Criminology
Index Term(s): Arab terrorist groups; Religion; Terrorist tactics
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