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Personality Characteristics of a Terrorist

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Essay title: Personality Characteristics of a Terrorist

More and more in the world today, circumstances have brought about changes in how members have used radical protesting. One way used to protest a situation is through terrorism, and the people who exercise violence in the pursuit of what they hold to be just causes are alternately known as terrorists. This movement, although viewed as barbaric, requires a person to view the needs and goals of a particular cause to be greater than that of the well being of others. There are certain characteristic traits that can be found in the majority of terrorism, which can identify a profile of a terrorist's mind. A terrorist is not just an insane person, but also possibly a person that has been forced either by personal decision or by situations beyond control to choose an "insane" method to achieve an unachievable goal.

The fundamental beginning of a terrorist organization is the adoption of a cause that, in most cases, entails the liberation of a group of people. This group may base their claims on history (real or hastily concocted), on a common heritage, on a language shared by the members of the group and, most important, on hate and contempt directed at an enemy (Reich 10-11). The Middle East is plagued with many different Zionists that all have a "historical claim" to Jerusalem, also known as the city of Zion. The Hizballah organization is one of the most dangerous terrorist groups in the Middle East. This organization has achieved power from the heroic view of jihad (holy war), the state funding received from the Islamic Republic of Iran, and the organizations "natural born right" to Israel, especially Jerusalme, due to the belief that the Jews are nothing but land-squatters. The Hizballah have used the hatred and contempt that the Muslims have for the Jews occupying the city of Zion to gain support for the liberation of Lebanon.

This brings about the first personality characteristic of an oppressed person or people. There is a high frequency among terrorist of psychological damage during childhood (Reich 27). While not all terrorists come from battered homes, there is a great number that come from fragmented families where one or both of the parents were not present.

Another personality characteristic of a terrorist is dedication. A terrorist cannot be a casual or part-time mercenary, willing to operate only when the acts of violence suit the convenience of a cause. The terrorist must become a "man of sacrifice", and the dedication also implies absolute obedience to the leader of the political movement.

Bravery is personality trait that is not thought of when terrorists are studied. With a great risk of death and an even much greater risk of injury, imprisonment, or even torture, the terrorist must be willing to face these risks for the higher purpose

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