ATbar The Motivational Elements and Characteristics of ‘Home-Grown’ Islamic Terrorists

The Motivational Elements and Characteristics of ‘Home-Grown’ Islamic Terrorists

10/07/2012 | by Ben-Simhon, Ron  

This paper intends to prove that with the combination of several character traits and/or behavioral patterns, as well as motivational elements, presented as independent variables, ‘home-grown’ Islamic terrorism is a potential outcome. This will be proven via a sample of analyzed case studies. By determining certain characteristics, perhaps the act of profiling suspected individuals will help in terrorism prevention.

The first section of the paper outlines the research problem, hypothesis, definitions, variables relevant theoretical approach and method in which the hypothesis will be proven.

Section two gives validity to the independent variables via a thorough literature review, citing academics and experts in the field who have studied the phenomenon of ‘home-grown’ Islamic terrorism.

The third section analyzes six case studies in order to discern whether or not the hypothesized independent variables are present in each of them. With the combination of the literature review and analysis of the case studies, one can be certain that the findings present an accurate depiction of reality and indeed characterize or profile the characteristics and motivational elements of ‘home-grown’ Islamic terrorists.

The findings were hardly surprising. There is no doubt that religious extremism is a primary factor in the motivation of ‘home-grown’ Islamic terrorism. Furthermore, there is strong evidence showing that several other variables, presented in this paper, also contribute to the motivation of Islamic extremists. Finally this paper hopes to present a partial blueprint for a policy recommendation on how to combat radicalization, rather than terrorism.

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