Collapse Motivations of Terrorists

What motivates a man like Osama Bin Laden to encourage the use of indiscriminate violence to further his political objectives? How, if at all, do his motivations differ from those of terrorists of a previous generation, such as Carlos the Jackal? Although it is common, even stereotypical, to consider terrorists as all having similar view points, in most cases they are distinctly different. Goals and motivations vary at the organizational and individual levels. Socialization, revenge, and perceived injustice are all possible motivations, but, like causes of terrorism, there is no single explanation behind each act.


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To prepare for this Discussion:

  • Review the Course Introduction, located on the navigation bar on the left. Keep this overview in mind as you work through each week of the course.
  • Review Chapter 1 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Reflect on the motivations of terrorists.
  • Review Chapter 4 in the course text Introduction to Homeland Security: Understanding Terrorism with an Emergency Management Perspective and the assigned pages of Chapters 3 and 7 in the course text Terrorism in Perspective. Reflect on motivations of specific terrorists.
  • Select a terrorist to use for this assignment. You may select any individuals mentioned in the Learning Resources, the FBI “Most Wanted Terrorists” website:, or another of your choosing. Note: Do not choose Osama Bin Laden.
  • Using the Learning Resources, Walden’s Library, and/or the Internet, research the motivations of the terrorist you selected.

With these thoughts in mind:

Post by Day 4 a brief description of the terrorist you selected. Then explain the motivations of the terrorist. Be specific and use examples to illustrate your explanation.

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