Saturday, January 21, 2006

Psychology of Suicide Bombers

Just watched a show called Psychology of Suicide Bombers on Discovery Channel. Most people assume terrorists are recruited from the top down and are crazy. The facts are quite different.

1. Given the right psychological conditions, normal people are capable of doing horrific deeds.
2. Estrangement from one's country or culture such as living in a foreign land causes the estranged individual to band together with similar individuals.
3. The dynamics of small groups now comes into play. The individual tends to conform to the group's psychology. (Ashe experiment).
4. Bonds formed within such small groups are typified as familial - sisterhood, brotherhood, band of brothers. Military uses this dynamic in elite military squads/groups.
5. People in the group who have pre-existing friendships may bring their friends into the group and then influence them to conform to the group's radical viewpoint.
6. These groups can form spontaneously. A self-organizing spontaneously forming grass roots terrorist cell.
7. The successful groups try to identify with an elite organization for training or form an elite unit themselves. They case their targets and practice their mission.
8. Commitment prevails over fear in successful suicide attacks. Victims are dehumanized.

One article is Understanding Terror Networks

This evidence is contrary to what we are told in the media or by the government usually. I could be wrong here because I don't watch the news as much as I used to because it's all become sensationalized, polarized and sound bites in my warped opinion.
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