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NCJ Number: 220370 Find in a Library
Title: Suicide Terrorism: Is Religion the Critical Factor?
Journal: Security Journal  Volume:20  Issue:4  Dated:October 2007  Pages:267-283
Author(s): Matthew B. Capell; Emile Sahliyeh
Date Published: October 2007
Page Count: 17
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The purpose of this paper is to investigate empirically the validity of the argument that the religious nature of the terrorist groups accounts for the increase in terrorism’s lethality today, and provides an overview of the literature that deals with “new terrorism,” which many claim to be behind modern terrorism’s new lethality.
Abstract: This research paper confirms that suicide terrorism as a tactic accounts for much of this increased lethality and that suicide terrorism is not confined to religious groups, but it is equally deadly in the hands of nationalist and secular groups. It also suggests that while suicide terrorism itself does not appear to increase civilian casualties, when it is coupled with religion, this becomes a different story. The results support the proposition that religion itself may be a necessary part of the explanation, but not a sufficient one, and that the willingness of individuals to sacrifice themselves for their cause needs further scrutiny. In an effort to understand modern terrorism’s increased lethality, it is proposed that scholars need to look further than religion as a motive and take into account modern terrorists’ willingness to use “suicide terror.” It is maintained that in addition to the role of religion, the tactic of suicide terrorism accounts for terrorism’s new lethality. In an attempt to explore the relationships between religion and terrorism’s newfound lethality, this study utilized the International Policy Institute for Counter Terrorism’s (ICT) “International Terrorism” database between 1980 and 2002. It tested the hypotheses concerning the effects of religion, suicide bombing, and the intermingling of the two, on the number of terrorist-related deaths and civilian casualties. References and appendixes 1-4
Main Term(s): Terrorism/Mass Violence
Index Term(s): Bombings; Bombs; Religion; Religious freedom; Religiously motivated violence; Revolutionary or terrorist groups; Suicide causes; Terrorism causes; Terrorist ideologies; Terrorist profiles
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