Psychological Aspects of Islamic Terrorism




Beaudoin, Melissa M.

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In the wake of September 11, 2001, the attention paid to the subject of terrorism and the portrayal of Islamic-style terrorist groups has been grossly over-simplified and misunderstood. This thesis argues that while Islamic-style terrorism has a fact pattern that makes it unique from any other form of terrorism encountered to this date, it is in no way more simplistic or predictable than its other violence-seeking terrorist cousins. In fact, the motivational forces behind Islamic-style terrorism are a complex combination of factors that include historical context, generational forces, economic competition, religious ideology, sociological group dynamics, and individual psychological pathologies. While comprehending and defining Islamic-style terrorism may prove elusive, attempting to identify the complex motivational factors behind it is the first step in building bridges understanding that will facilitate the cessation of Islamic-style terrorism.



terrorism, religious aspects, psychological aspects


Beaudoin, M. M. (2006). Psychological aspects of Islamic terrorism (Unpublished thesis). Texas State University-San Marcos, San Marcos, Texas.


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