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What Drives Someone to Complete the Devastating Acts of Terrorism? Essay

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Since the darkest day, September 11, 2001, the citizens of The United States of America are on alert and are weary of acts of terrorism. One can turn on the television and can easily find an act of terrorism. Most recent acts are the Boston bombings or the bombings in Volgograd, and most recently the two bombings in Sochi. What drives someone to complete the devastating acts of terrorism? How can on predict, based off of antisocial behaviors, who is more likely to become a terrorist? Regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or racial background, experts agree terrorists share one common link: their childhood. One tends to be more susceptible to becoming a terrorist because of a traumatic event in their childhood to cause antisocial behavior. In fact one traumatic event, whether real or imagined, during childhood increases the likelihood of a person exhibiting anti-social behavior.
Terrorist typically have a path they follow which leads them to a life of violence and antisocial behavior. According to a New York Times’ article on the terrorist mind, terrorist have “extremist beliefs, which begins early in life; a strong sense of victimization and alienation” (Kershaw). Sarah Kershaw believes, a terrorist fears becoming alienated from society; therefore to prevent this alienation, they draw attention to themselves through acts of terrorism. However, a major trigger that pushes a person beyond the breaking point of a “normal” person to a terrorist is their own individual past. One can define a “normal” person as one who goes with the flow of society and does not act out in violence to voice their opinion. Rex Hudson also believes, “Terrorists are generally people who feel alienated” The event in the person’s past could range from a num...


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...ons." American Psychological Association. N.p., Nov. 2009. Web. 20 Dec. 2013.
DeAngelis, Tori. "Understanding Terrorism." American Psychological Association. N.p., Nov. 2009. Web. 19 Dec. 2013.
Hudson, Rex A. The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism: Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why? Washington, D.C.: The Library of Congress, Sept. 1999. PDF.
Kershaw, Sarah. "The Terrorist Mind: An Update." Nytimes.com. The New York Times, 9 Jan. 2010. Web. 18 Dec. 2013.
"Narcissistic." Dictionary.com. Random House, 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
"Osama Bin Laden Fast Facts." CNN.com. Cable News Network, 24 Dec. 2013. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
Rosenberg, Jennifer. "Adolf Hitler." 20th Century HIstory. About.com, n.d. Web. 09 Jan. 2014.
Speaking of Psychology: Getting into a Terrorist's Mind. American Psychological Association, n.d. American Psychological Association. Web. 28 Dec. 2013.



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