Submitted by Sajjad Shaukat
Some western psychiatrists believe that many terrorists have had a difficult childhood producing narcissistic wounds, resulting in “projecting the hated parts of the self onto the outside world”. According to another similar reasoning, “The desire to destroy the establishment is driven by the terrorist’s search for identity.” This dynamic could result in operatives taking unauthorized vengeance against society for their own reasons unrelated to the group’s cause; such acts are equivalent to military officers making politically unauthorized use of their weapons.
In his book, “The Readiness to Kill and Die: Suicidal Terrorism in the Middle East,” a professor of psychology, Ariel Merari who provides a comprehensive analysis of suicide attacks and terrorism by showing how personality characteristics interact with group pressure and public atmosphere, points out,
“Most suicide terrorist attacks are carried out by sub-state groups, whether organized as terrorist groups or as self-starter cells…this is because it is easier for groups to transform susceptible individuals into terrorists by radicalizing, recruiting, indoctrinating and training them to become suicide bombers and then videotaping their commitment to martyrdom. Such groups receive their oxygen from religions and societies that glorify martyrdom into an afterlife in paradise.”