Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?

Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?

Based on the Document Who becomes a terrorist and you

read by Hudson respond to the following. Please provide a

summary of the main points. Also, state whether you agree or

disagree and why. What did you learn? This must be at least a

three full-pages and no more than five full pages not including

cover and reference page. No abstract is needed

Who Becomes a Terrorist and Why?

In the contemporary world, terrorism is indisputably one of the major forms of mass

violence. In addition, terrorism is one of the most serious threats to international peace and

security facing the contemporary global community. However, it is and has been difficult to

understand what pushes people to commit mass killings because most people across all cultures

assume that perpetrators of mass violence are evil and monsters since they commit monstrous

and evil acts. This however is a superficial explanation because; it does not facilitate any in-

depth understanding of terrorists’ behavior and the most important stepping-stones in their

biography (life history) that contributed to their becoming terrorists. The other explanation is that

people who become terrorists are psychopaths, psychotic or suffer from other serious mental

illnesses. Rex Hudson’s article “The sociology and psychology of terrorism: who becomes a

terrorist and why?” focuses on the sociological and psychological dynamics of people who

become terrorists. Hudson’s study was based on examination of relevant literature and

assessment of the existing knowledge on the subject. This article provides different approaches

used to analyse terrorism, common hypotheses of terrorism, the psychology of a terrorists and a

general profiling of a terrorist.

On the question whether terrorists are psychotic or psychopaths, Hudson observes that

relevant literature from psychologists, sociologists and political scientists has not found any

conclusive evidence that support the assumption that any significant number of terrorists are

mentally ill or abnormal. Rasch argues that the assumption that terrorists have a pathological

behavior only minimizes the social or political reasons that motivated a terrorist to act.


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