The Psychology of Terrorist Group Recruitment Essay

The Psychology of Terrorist Group Recruitment Essay

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One of the most complex aspects of counterterrorism (CT) for the intelligence community (IC), law enforcement (LE), and CT communities is the psychology of terrorism. In the broad study of the psychology of terrorism, a highly misunderstood and challenging subject area is the recruitment of terrorists. A “normal,” rational person would wonder why an individual would pledge to commit acts of terror that would inflict lethal or grave danger upon innocent civilians for a politically educed cause. When in matter of fact, that rational person could also be susceptible to recruitment by a terrorist organization based upon any anti-political ideologies they may hold against their respected government. There are many reasons an individual may want to join a terrorist organization which includes aspects associated to an individuals psychology, ideology, theology, and state of mind. It also includes factors like an individuals religion, culture, morals, influences, integrity, and environment. More specifically terrorists go through a top-down or bottom-up process to enter the life of a terrorist and either have a strategic choice or psychological forces which make them susceptible to terrorism and recruitment. For IC, LE, and CT professionals the psychology of terrorist group recruitment is gravely important because it will allow them to identify indicators of individuals who are at a particular point in the recruitment process, who are already recruited, and who may also be planning attacks against U.S. assets, infrastructure, and personnel. Terrorism is a serious threat to national and homeland security and it all starts with a terrorist recruitment. If an individual is identified, exploited, or neutralized before ...

... middle of paper ... of an individual entering the life of a terrorist include environmental and religious.

Works Cited
CSIS (2007). Pathways to Muslim Radicalization. Retrieved from (accessed 25 May 2014).

Federal Bureau of Investigation (2014). Definitions of Terrorism in the U.S. Code. Retrieved from (accessed 25 May 2014).

Jaber, H. (1997). Inside the world's most secretive and deadly organization: Hezbollah Born with a Vengence. New York: Columbia University Press.

Reich, W. (1998). Origins of Terrorism: Psychologies, Ideologies, Theologies, States of Mind. Washington, D.C.: The Woodrow Wilson center Press.

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