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What IS(IS) Happening In Terrorists Mind?

The main aim of this essay is to analyse the psychological meaning and context of
the following question What is happening in terrorists mind? in relation to the recent terror
attacks in Paris, France in which more than 129 people were killed and left many injured.
There were several planned and coordinated attacks at bars, restaurants, football stadium and
concert hall at the same time, committed by 3 teams of gunmen and suicide bombers on
November 13th, 2015. Islamic State jihadists claimed credits for these attacks, as a revenge of
France policy and attacks against the Islamic State, threatening with further attacks and
evolving a whole European society fear, panic and groom
(https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/world/paris-attacks/).
In the light of current happenings in Paris, not a single person all around the world has asked
himself questions: Why? How can somebody do such a thing? What actually drives a human
being to kill other human beings? But ultimately, are those terrorists really the only ones to
blame or is there a wider concept and if, what is it? As it is generally said, in order to defeat
(and in our case to understand) the enemy, one must know him. In detail. Knowing the
motive, ideology, behaviour and overall background is fundamental in fully understanding the
terrorist's behaviour, analysing it and anticipating further actions.
First of all, it is necessary to clarify that peoples decisions are strongly influenced by other
people and the environment around them. The family, friends, socio-economic status,
education, satisfaction of basic needs and the (social) environment we live in and
to which experiences we are exposed to are the most import aspects that shape our opinions,
views and personalities since the very beginning
(https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/201462.pdf). Especially in Europe the likelihood
for immigrants to get radicalized due to socio-economic reasons is very high. In Europe even
after three generations, depending on the country, the immigrants are 519 times more likely
to be poor or less educated (http://www.vocativ.com/news/251306/psychology-terrorist).
According to the anthropologists and psychology behind terrorism expert Scott Atran there
are 2 major prototypes of people to get radicalized and join terrorist organization
(https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-gods-we-trust/201505/role-youth-counteringviolent-extremism-promoting-peace). The first one are local fighters from Iraq, Syria not
educated, poor human beings with a signs of brain washing from propaganda made by
various terroristic organizations, without any significant knowledge of Quran and simply
perceiving Islam as their life and purpose to be, not able to provide any further explanation.
On the other hand, Europeans average terrorists are educated and described as emotionally
stable, simply joining extremists for finding significance and meaning, looking for
friends, feeling of belonging and life meaning that terroristic organization, sadly, gives them.
They do not want to kill, not at first, it comes with radicalization. With certain amount of
time. The organization turn their world around, give it shape, shape they opinions and minds
as a plasticine. They manipulate with their fragile minds giving them mission, higher
meaning, 100% conviction to certain poisonous belief and re-assurance of various rewards
mainly of spiritual form and closely connected with their (religious) beliefs. This part of
explanation by Atran is exceptionally accurate: What inspires kids to join ISIS, is not so
much the Quran or religious teachings, Atran writes. Its a thrilling cause that promises
glory and esteem (https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/in-gods-we-trust/201505/role-

youth-countering-violent-extremism-promoting-peace). It is inevitable to say that those who


commits terroristic attack or prepare them, do not actually think about it as suicide at all, but
as heroic acts, sacrifice for higher purpose and martyrdom as follows from study made by
forensic psychologist Randy Borum (https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/201462.pdf).
This type of manipulation is not unfamiliar to Europe at all. World War II type of convincing
people to join Nazi is terrifyingly similar to what terroristic organization, especially ISIS
promise and people in this uncertain time want to hear. George Orwells revision of Hitlers
Mein Kampf is just accurate: Mr. Hitler has discovered that human beings dont only want
peace and security and comfort and free from want. They want adventure, glory and selfsacrifice (http://www.vocativ.com/news/251306/psychology-terrorist). Thats something so
tempting that just capture minds of many people. As we have experienced in history before,
people are now literally volunteering for killing but perceiving those acts as higher purpose
and yes, as we know, good people do bad things too, nothing is only black and white.
Prevention of this that should be widely considered is to show those people the other (more
humanly acceptable and not evolving violence) higher purpose, higher purpose for good.
Before they convert to evil.
To sum up, there are multiple factors that lead people to commit terrible things. Those things
like the recent terrorist attack in Paris, those things that cannot be ever justified but must be
understood profoundly and carefully, considering all the factors leading to those crimes.
Because thoughts cannot really kill, but people can. Seeking the truth and shadows behind the
act is the essential point in order to anticipate and prevent those things to happen in the first
place.