The Motivations of Terrorism at a Glance

Topics: Al-Qaeda, Jihad, Terrorism Pages: 2 (584 words) Published: April 23, 2014

The Motivations of Terrorism at a Glance
Heather A. Fenwick
P2IP- Ideologies of Terrorist Organizations
Colorado Technical University
HLS110-1401A-01, Terrorism: Origins, Ideologies, and Goals
Instructor: Dr. Bob Uda
January 20, 2014

The Motivations of Terrorism at a Glance
In 1979, Aaron Antonovsky put out a study called the Sense of Coherence study. This research examined how certain people deal with stress. I will use this study to determine the motivation behind terroristic acts. The three components of this study are comprehensibility, manageability and meaningfulness (Collingwood, 2006). Comprehensibility decides how much logical sense a decision makes and the structure and order of carrying out the act. Manageability asks how much one can cope with decisions made. Meaningfulness asks if the challenges are worth the commitment. Motivation and Objectives of Al Qaeda

In this article, the writer identifies the main objectives of Al Qaeda, both strategic and fundamental (Keeney and Winterfeldt, 2010). The motivation behind all of these objectives is to spread the Islamic religion throughout the world and to destroy any enemies of Islam. I believe Al Qaeda’s motivation is primarily religion based because Bin Laden believed they were sent by god to destroy non-believers. Al Qaeda believes their missions/attacks have comprehensibility because they feel they have an obligation to god to carry out these attacks. These missions have a structured order to them; they are not haphazard attacks. The members of terrorist organizations have a loyalty to their organization and are willing to give up their lives for the cause. The “manageability” for these members is death. Due to the extreme commitment the members have, I would say they have a strong sense of coherence to deal with the trauma and violence on a daily basis. Motivation of Suicide Terrorists

The next article is in reference to the motivations behind...

References: Collingwood, J. (2006). Your Sense of Coherence. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 21, 2014, from
Frost, R. (2005). Terrorist Psychology, Motivation and Strategy. Adelphi Papers, 45(378), 41-62.
Keeney, G. L., & Von Winterfeldt, D. (2010). Identifying and Structuring the Objectives of Terrorists. Risk Analysis: An International Journal, 30(12), 1803-1816. doi:10.1111/j.1539-6924.2010.01472.x
Post, J. M. (2009). Reframing of Martyrdom and Jihad and the Socialization of Suicide Terrorists. Political Psychology, 30(3), 381-385. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9221.2009.00702.x
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