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NCJ Number: 222028 Find in a Library
Title: Holy Warriors: Exploring the Psychological Processes of Jihadi Radicalization
Journal: European Journal of Criminology  Volume:5  Issue:1  Dated:January 2008  Pages:99-123
Author(s): Andrew Silke
Date Published: January 2008
Page Count: 25
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article provides an overview of the psychology of individuals who join and engage in terrorism, in particular individuals who engage in jihad-motivated terrorism such as carried out by al Qaeda and its affiliates.
Abstract: The authors found that those who become involved in terrorism, particularly jihad-motivated terrorism, are normally rational, mentally healthy individuals that are progressively drawn to the movement in stages. This, the author claims, debunks the myth of terrorists as highly deviant personalities who integrate quickly. The author’s findings show that terrorists, on average, do not suffer from mental illness or disorders and do not typically fit the widely held public stereotypes associated with terrorism. The majority of individuals involved in radical terrorism come to it as the result of a gradual process over time that involves ordinary psychological processes and small group dynamics. These processes include the notion of: social identities, normally shared ideals, experiences, and loyalties; social marginalization normally associated with isolation from living abroad; social discrimination or perceived injustice within the community or broader societies; and a catalyst event that sparks vengeance or a desire for revenge. Additionally, status and personal rewards, as well as opportunity, contribute to the process. The author stresses that in order to fully understand terrorism and terrorists we must see beyond the commonly held myths and assumptions and account for the distinctive patterns seen in the lives of terrorists. References and author biography
Main Term(s): Domestic terrorism; Supporters of terrorism
Index Term(s): Economic influences; Religion; Socioeconomic impact of terrorism
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