The psychology of terrorists - why some people become terrorists

By M.Farouk Radwan, MSc.

Why do some people become terrorists?

Why would a person become a terrorist?
Why would a person kill innocent people?
Should we blame religion for it?

If the problem of terrorism was connected to religion then two things would have happened, All religious people would have been terrorists and no non-religious-person would have been a terrorist. But as we all know both of those things aren't true.

Yes of course some people become terrorists as a result of misunderstanding some religious scriptures but this is not the main reason those people turn into terrorists. The main reason those people became terrorists is that they were searching for something to help them achieve their destructive unconscious goals and they found a way to do that by missunderstanding the message of religion.

Each person sees the world from his own angle. The person who wants to find a reason to do something will usually twist his own perception so that he gets the justification he is looking for. In my previous article Why do people Twist the facts to support their beliefs i explained how humans can alter their perception of things just to reach one of the important goals in their minds.

In other words that person became a terrorist because he had a very important need for killing. If that person didn't kill or terrorize anybody then he would become psychologically unstable and very depressed. See also why some men use violence against women.

The psychology of terrorists

All humans , without exceptions, want to be successful. The problem here is the definition of success. For a sane and normal person success would be doing something useful. For a mentally disturbed person success is being good at something even if it was going to cause harm to the surrounding humans.

Under the pressure of both inferiority and the complete failure in succeeding in life in a useful way some people turn to Terrorism in order feel worthy. In other words the person who failed to feel worthy by doing something that is socially acceptable might try to feel worthy by doing something that is not.

It's the same exactly as the two students who strive for attention in class using two different strategies. While the first student might study hard to be the first the other might just turn into a problem child in order to catch attention.

Both children might have the goal of catching attention but one does it while caring for others and the other does it with disregard to anything.

Social interest, or the feeling of connection to the people around us, is the thing that can differentiate between a normal person and a terrorist.

While the normal person would put people in mind before doing anything the terrorist would just try to satisfy his desires with disregard to people. See the psychology of criminals.

When more than one problem come together

A person who always felt rejected by the people around him might use terrorism as a way to seek revenge. In addition to the fact that this person feels worthless and that he has no social interest he also has another important goal which is seeking revenge.

Terrorism in many cases is an act of revenge against. Some people want to take revenge against certain groups, others want to revenge against certain countries while a third group want revenge against the whole world.

In short a Terrorist isn't a religious person who is executing what he believes to be God's word but he is a mentally unstable person who twisted some facts in order to give himself an excuse to achieve his destructive unconscious goals.

As for a non religious terrorist the story will also be the same. That person will still find an excuse such as bringing justice to the world or making the bad people pay for what they have done.

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