The Terrorist Mindset and Terrorist Decisionmaking: Two Areas of Ignorance
The following paper identifies two areas of ignorance in the current study of the phenomenon of terrorism: how terrorists think (is there such a thing as a terrorist mind?) and how terrorists groups make their decisions. The organization, financing weaponry, and tactics of terrorist groups have been studied. We have acquired a great deal of what might be called 'order of battle' information about terrorist groups. In some cases, a sizable portion of their membership has been identified; we know their names. Articles, or in some cases, books have been written about a few of the more notable leaders of terrorists groups: Ulrike Meinhof, Ilich Ramirez Sanchez, Leila Khaled, Yasir Arafat. A few have written about their own experiences in terrorist groups; Sean MacStiofain about his Irish Republican Army career and Susan Stern about her experiences in the Weather Underground. Some terrorists in prison have agreed to interviews. Some terrorists still at large have even been interviewed by journalists. It has been reported that the West German Bundeskriminalamt maintains a vast file that includes information on the reading habits, dental records, and musical preferences of known terrorists.
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actions activities appear area of uncertainty AREAS OF IGNORANCE Assassinations attributes author's become a terrorist Bombs born California Charles common or prevalent common terrorist composition consider Culture current theories describe determine dictate easier elaborately escalate experiences explanations explosives factors favored grievances groups operating hijackers hostages hypotheses identified Ideology idiosyncrasies individual information about terrorist inner ear International interviews Irish Republican Army issues jail journalists kidnap kind know whether terrorists leader Liberation male membership modus operandi notable offer organization Paper pattern phenomenon of terrorism physiological Political circumstances political or social psychiatrist psychosis radical Rand Corporation recruited reflected regarding terrorist behavior repertoire Russell Santa Monica seizing share similar SLIP smaller group society sources of biographical style of operations suffer supported systematic tactics targets terrorist bombers TERRORIST DECISIONMAKING terrorist group terrorist mindset Terrorists operate type of person typical terrorist university dropout utility various Weather Underground West German