CE Information for Participants
Please see front matter for Continuing Education Credit Details and Requirements.
Terrorism and Right-Wing Extremism: The Changing Face of Terrorism and Political Violence in the 21st Century: The Virtual Community of Hatred, by Jerrold M. Post, M.D.
Estimated Time to Complete this Activity: 90 minutes
The reader will be able to:
1. Clarify that group psychology is the dominant expression of terrorist psychology.
2. Specify that there is no one individual terrorist profile.
3. Identify that terrorist organizations increasingly use the Internet to radicalize individuals online.
Jerrold M. Post, Nothing to Disclose
INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF GROUP PSYCHOTHERAPY, 65 (2) 2015
Jerrold M. Post, M.D., is Professor of Psychiatry, Political Psychology, and International
Affairs, and Director of the Political Psychology Program at the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University in Washington, DC.
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM
Terrorism and Right-Wing Extremism:
The Changing Face of Terrorism and
Political Violence in the 21st Century:
The Virtual Community of Hatred
JERROLD M. POST, M.D.
There are no psychological characteristics or psychopathology that separates terrorists from the general population. Rather it is group dynamics, with a particular emphasis on collective identity that helps explain terrorist psychology. Just
as there is a diverse spectrum of terrorisms, so too is there a spectrum of terrorist
psychologies. Four waves of terrorism can be distinguished: the Anarchist wave,
associated with labor violence in the United States in the late 19th century; the
Anti-Colonial wave (nationalist-separatist), with minority groups seeking to be
liberated from their colonial masters or from the majority in their country; the
New Left wave (social revolutionary); and now the Religious wave. With the
communications revolution, a new phenomenon is emerging which may presage a fifth wave: lone wolf terrorists who through the Internet are radicalized
and feel they belong to the virtual community of hatred. A typology of lone wolf
terrorism is proposed.
The group is the basic unit of political life. And this is particularly true of the world of political violence. A search to identify
a unique individual terrorist profile has proved fruitless. Martha
Crenshaw concluded that â€œthe outstanding characteristic of ter-
rorists is their normalityâ€ (Crenshaw, 1981). Similarly, a comprehensive review of the social psychology of terrorism concluded
that â€œthe best documented generalization is negative; terrorists
do not show any striking psychopathologyâ€ (McCauley & Segal,
Post first introduced consideration of the importance of terrorist group dynamics at the World Congress of Psychiatry in 1983,
and introduced this topic to the group psychotherapy literature
in 1986 and to the terrorism literature in 1987 (Post, 1983, 1986,
In reflecting on the implications of the basic assumption states delineated by Wilfred Bion (1961), the dependency
group, the fight-flight, and the pairing group, one can make a
case that all three of these states contribute to understanding
terrorist group dynamics (Post, 1987b). The hate-mongering
group leader, especially in charismatic groups and organizations,
such as al-Qaeda under Osama bin Laden or the LTTE (Tamil
Tigers) under Prabhakaran, are characterized by the followers
subordinating their individual identity to the cause as articulated
by the leader, and gaining a sense of belonging to something
greater than themselves. What the leader says is moral and what
he defines as evil is evil. They uncritically follow his leadership.
It is the very essence of dependency psychology, especially with
the underground group, with the group being idealized and the
government being demonized. In terms of the â€œpairingâ€ basic
assumption group, there is often a sense that after the destruction of current society an idealized new society will emerge with
the new messiah. This was particularly true with the followers
of Shoko Asahara, the guru of Aum Shinrikyo, who, inspired
by the book of Revelations, were attempting to precipitate the
apocalypse, with true believers being resurrected to follow Asahara who had promoted himself as a version of Christ. A fourth
basic assumption, which has been suggested by Earl Hopper in
his book The Social Unconscious is that merger as an escape from
annihilation or incohesion is particularly appropriate for minorities threatened with annihilation by the dominant state, which I
have characterized as identicide. This is exemplified by Ocalanâ€™s
1. This drew on research that reviewed the group psychology of four models: religious
cults, youth gangs, and organized crime, and resistance groups, supported by the Harry
Frank Guggenheim Foundation.
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 245
forming the PKK, the Kurdish separatist terrorist group, in the
face of Ataturkâ€™s attempts to deny the very existence of the Kurdish people and make it illegal to use the Kurdish language, or to
even use the name of Kurds, instead using the derogatory term
â€œmountain Turks.â€ It was a defensive intensification of national
identity. The same dynamic was at the root of the attraction of
the Basque people threatened with â€œidenticideâ€ by Franco to
form the nationalist-separatist terrorist group Euskadi ta Akatasuna (ETA) (Basque Homeland and Freedom).
Among the identified characteristics of terrorist group psychology were a tendency toward polarization and externalization,
summed up in a substance-free version of terrorist ideology, justification, and motivation: â€œItâ€™s not us; itâ€™s them. They are responsible for our problems. And therefore striking out against them is
not only not prohibited, it is morally justified, it is required.â€ And
this is particularly true, when there is religious justification, if it is
â€œkilling in the name of God.â€
It is important to emphasize the interaction between the political context and the ability of the hate-mongering leader to successfully emphasize the victim psychology of the minority and to
mobilize defensive aggression against the majority. To externalize in a compelling manner requires not only political skills but a
political context in which minority rights are ignored. When the
system is indeed attempting to destroy the identity of the minority, it sets the conditions for development of a charismatic movement, in which the leader heightens the threat of annihilation
by the dominant majority to destroy the identity of the minority group and mobilizes defensive aggression, associated with a
heightened sense of identity. Three prominent examples of what
I have called â€œidenticideâ€ concern the origins of the Kurdish
separatist group, the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), the Tamil
Tigers (the LTTE) and the Basque Homeland and Liberty (ETA)
In Turkey, seeking to consolidate a Turkic identity, the founding father of the Turkish nation, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, sought
to eliminate Kurdish identity and culture and denied their rights
to a homeland. This set the stage for Abdullah Ocalan, founder of the PKK, to establish an organization devoted to Kurdish
rights, heightening Kurdish national identity in the face of the
campaign for â€œidenticideâ€ launched by Ataturk (Post, 2007). In
his 1998 cease-fire declaration, Ocalan explained how Ataturkâ€™s
denial of Kurdish identity prompted the violence:
On the one hand, you say that the Kurds are as much owners of
these lands as the Turks, that all their national and social rights
will be recognized; on the other hand, even our name is denied.
This is what led to the violence. We are surely the side that should
be least responsible. We wanted our identity. We wanted our
democracy. We wanted our culture. Can anybody live without culture? Can anybody live without democracy? What do you expect
us to do after even our name has been denied? (Post, 2007, p. 67)
Similarly, in Spain, Francoâ€™s attempt to eliminate the Basque identity, including prohibition of the Basque vernacular language,
Euskera, heightened the sense of Basque identity (Post, 2007).
An ETA prisoner, recalling Francoâ€™s repression of the Basque
people stated: â€œFranco made us nationalists by his persecutionâ€
(Woodworth, 2001, p. 5). Sabano Arana took up the banner of
Basque nationalism and founded the Basque Nationalist Party.
â€œMy patriotism is founded in my love for God, and for which
purpose I pursue to lead my brethren to God: my great family
the Basque peopleâ€ (History of Basque nationalism: Historical
background, n.d.). Franco made it illegal to teach Basque history
in schools. The aim of the Basque Nationalist Party (PV) was to
teach Bizkainos â€œthe history of their motherlandâ€ and to awaken
his compatriots â€œwho disgracefully ignored the language of their
raceâ€ (Da Silva, 1975). Similarly, in Sri Lanka, the rights of the
Tamil minority were ignored by the dominant Sinhala majority.
Velupillai Prabhakaran, the charismatic founder of the Tamil Tigers, early on felt that:
It is the plight of the Tamil people that compelled me to take up
armsâ€¦I felt that armed struggle is the only way to protect and liberate our people from a totalitarian Fascist state bent on destroying an entire race of people. (Tamil National Leader Velupillai
Prabhakaranâ€™s Interview, 1986)
Given that the group ideology is anti-authority, committed to
striking out at the establishment, it is remarkable how conformist
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 247
and authoritarian it is within the group. No doubt or questioning
is permitted. As individuals with low self-esteem feel a sense of
enhanced value in belonging to the group, anything which questions the groupâ€™s justification is threatening. As individuals subordinate their individuality to the group, this creates an environment conducive to â€œgroupthink,â€ where a group can make riskier
decisions than any individual in the group might make alone.
Reflecting the â€œrisky shiftâ€ phenomenon, individual doubts are
suppressed because of the group ethos of bravery and courage in
pursuit of the cause.
As reflected in the consensus document of the Committee on
the Psychology of Terrorism at the International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security in Madrid, Spain, 2005, there is
a broad consensus among terrorism scholars that â€œexplanations
at the level of individual psychology are insufficientâ€ (Post, 2005).
Indeed, it was stressed that terrorist groups regularly screen out
mentally unstable individuals; they would, after all, be a security risk. There was a general consensus that it is not individual
psychopathology but rather group psychology, with a particular
emphasis on collective identity, that is the most important lens
through which to look at the psychology of terrorism (Post, 2005).
Emphasizing the importance of group dynamics, Horgan, in his
book The Psychology of Terrorism (2005), stresses that there are no
psychological characteristics that distinguish terrorists from the
general population. In The Mind of the Terrorist, Post singles outgroup dynamics as being of central significance in understanding
terrorist psychology (Post, 2007).
In reviewing the history of terrorism, one is struck by the diversity of causes pursued. It would be unreasonable to suppose
that such diversity is governed by a singular psychology. Rather,
we should be talking of terrorisms, plural, and terrorist psychologies, plural. Each terrorism must be understood in its unique
cultural, historical, and political context. But within this diversity,
there are broad underlying themes in common. And the particularity of violence in America reflects the themes played out internationally in the area of terrorism and political violence.
THE FOUR WAVES OF MODERN TERRORISM
In a seminal article summarizing the history of modern terrorism, Rapoport delineated four waves: the Anarchist wave, which
began in Russia in the 1880s and spread to Europe, Asia, and the
Americas and was associated with labor violence; the Anti-Colonial wave (nationalist-separatist), with minority groups seeking to
be liberated from their colonial masters or from the majority in
their country; the New Left wave (social revolutionary); and now
the Religious wave, punctuated by the Iran hostage crisis and the
9/11 World Trade Center and Pentagon attack (Rapoport, 2004).
The First Wave: The Anarchist Wave
Setting the stage for the wave of anarchic violence, in 1847 Karl
Marx and Friedrich Engels published the Communist Manifesto,
which both stressed the international dimensions of oppression
of the working men by the ruling classes and declared the requirement for â€œworking men of all countries [to] uniteâ€:
Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communist revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world
to win. Working men of all countries, unite! (Marx & Engels, 1848)
The labor violence in America of the late 19th century was emboldened by the anarchic violence in Russia and Europe. While
idealizing the plight of the working man, â€œthe labor movement
reveals… [a] mixture of glorious ends with inglorious meansâ€
(Gurr, 1989, p. 46), dramatically represented by the Haymarket
riot of 1886. Labor militants were demonstrating for an eighthour work day in Chicagoâ€™s Haymarket Square. When police intervened, a bomb was thrown, leading to the deaths of seven
police officers and four demonstrators in the explosion and riot
that followed. The organizers were called anarchists, with eight
convicted and four hanged, on the basis of tenuous evidence
(Gurr, 1989). As the strike became a major tactic of unions attempting to organize, violence commonly accompanied the
union efforts, leading Louis Adamic sardonically to characterize the period of the late 1800s to the early 1900s as â€œthe dynamite eraâ€ in American labor relations (Adamic, 1934). This
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 249
was well captured in the slogan of the anarchist newspaper, Freiheit (Freedom), which was published in New York. â€œFreiheit, five
cents a copy, dynamite, fifty cents a pound. Read one. Use the
The Second Wave: The Anti-colonial Wave
The second wave, which Rapoport identified as the post-colonial
wave, occurred in the wake of World War I, lasted through World
War II, and saw the establishment of a number of independent
nations as colonial empires of France, Great Britain, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, and Portugal contracted and dissolved.
Thus, as represented in Figure 1, these nationalist-separatist terrorists show the following characteristics:
â€¢ They are carrying on the mission of their parents;
â€¢ Their acts of terrorism are acts of retaliation for hurts
done to their parents and grandparents by society; and
Figure 1. This generational pathways-to-terrorism matrix demonstrates the generational provenance of the second and third waves of
terrorism. National-separatists constituting the second, or â€œanti-colonial,â€ wave are loyal to parents and grandparents who are disloyal
and dissidents to the regime. Social revolutionaries who characterize
the third, or â€œnew left,â€ wave, were rebelling against the generation
of their parents who were loyal to the regime
â€¢ They are loyal to parents damaged by, dissident to, the
Be it in the pubs of Northern Ireland or the coffee houses on the
West Bank and Jordan, they have heard their fathers talk about
what â€œtheyâ€ have done to them, depriving them of social and
economic justice. And they are acting to redress their grievances.
The Third Wave: The New Left Wave
The revolution in information technology increasingly dissolved
boundaries. While the island continent of North and South America was not as swept by revolutionary fervor as Europe, there was
a broad awareness of, and influence by, the international environment. This was particularly so for the third wave, the social
revolutionary wave. Through electronic media during the Vietnam War, students were simultaneously at the barricades in Paris,
Berlin, Rome, San Francisco, and New York. The student protest
movements were stimulated by each other, emulated each other,
and felt a sense of common purpose. This can be considered large
group psychology. Anti-fascist and anti-capitalist in their rhetoric, they shared an idealized version of Marxist-Leninism, and in
their study groups justified striking out against the establishment.
Just as the Red Army Faction in Germany and the Red Brigades
in Italy split off from the largely peaceful student movement in
Western Europeâ€”becoming what Dennis Pluchinsky has called
â€œfighting communist organizationsâ€ (Yonah and Pluchinsky,
1992)â€”in the United States, the Weather Underground split off
from the Students for a Democratic Society. Impatient with the
pace of change through peaceful protests, they came to believe
that violence was necessary to sensitize the masses. In the words
of the Bob Dylan song, â€œSubterranean Homesick Blues,â€ which
became emblematic for the group, â€œYou donâ€™t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.â€ The generational provenance of the social revolutionary groups can be identified as
rebelling against the generation of their parents, identified with
the regime, as reflected in Figure 1.
In their manifesto, which was couched in Marxist-Leninist
terms, the Weather Underground declared their goal to be: The
destruction of U.S. imperialism and the achievement of a class-
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 251
less world: world communism…Someone not for revolution is not
actually for defeating imperialism eitherâ€¦Long live the Victory
of Peopleâ€™s War (Asbley et al., 1969).
Exulting in their underground guerilla identity, echoing the
anarchist rhetoric of the Russian anarchists of the 1880s, in 1970,
the Weather Underground published a 150-page creed, Prairie
Fire: The Politics of Revolutionary Anti-Imperialism, defining their
goals. Their spokeswoman and one of the principal leaders, Bernadine Dohrn, declared in 1970:
We are a guerilla organization. We are communist women and
men, underground in the United States for more than four years.
We are deeply affected by the historic events of our time in the
struggle against U.S. imperialismâ€¦ . Our intention is to disrupt
the empire, to incapacitate it, to put pressure on the cracks to
make it hard to carry out its bloody functioning against the people
of the world, to join the world struggle, to attack from the insideâ€¦ . Our intention is to engage the enemy, to wear away at him,
to isolate him to expose every weaknessâ€¦ .
Without mass struggle, there can be no revolution. Without armed
struggle, there can be no victory. (Weather Underground Organization, 1974, p. 30)
The fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the subsequent implosion
of the Soviet Union marked the end of the third wave, the social
The Fourth Wave: The Religious Extremist Wave
Overlapping with the end of the third wave, the event that marks
the beginning of the fourth wave, the religious extremist wave, is
the seizure of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Iran, by Shiite Iranian
mujahedeen in 1979. The religious terrorism wave continues to
be the dominant form of terrorism.
Although Muslim fundamentalist terrorism played a major
role, terrorism with religious motivations was found in the other
Abrahamic religions as well. Thus, Yigal Amir, the assassin of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, was a Jewish fundamentalist
religious student inspired by the radical rabbinate in Israel that
â€œthe judgment of the pursuerâ€ had been fastened to Rabin, drawing on the book of Leviticus, 19:16: â€œThou shall not stand idly
by the brotherâ€™s innocent blood.â€ Amirâ€™s stated motivation for
his assassination of the Israeli Prime Minister in 1995 was that
by entering the Oslo negotiations, Rabin was placing a group of
murderous terrorists on the borders of Israel, endangering his innocent Israeli brethren. The violence in the United States toward
abortion clinics and murders of health care providers in these
clinics can be seen as a form of Christian fundamentalist terrorism. Former Roman Catholic priest David C. Trosch called such
actions â€œjustifiable homicide.â€ He had likened doctors, nurses,
and healthcare workers in clinics performing abortions to perpetrators of the Holocaust during World War II, for a holocaust
was being committed against the unborn children of this nation:
â€œDefending innocent human life is not murder… . Youâ€™re comparing the lives of morally guilty persons against the lives of manifestly innocent persons… . Thatâ€™s like trying to compare the lives
of the Jews in the incinerators in Nazi Germany or Polandâ€¦with
the lives of the Gestapo.â€ (Niebuhr, 1994, p. 12)
Aum Shinrikyoâ€™s 1995 sarin gas attack on the Tokyo subways was
justified by the peculiar theology of Aum Supreme Truth and its
guru Shoko Asahara. He was seeking to precipitate an apocalyptic struggle, from which he and his true believer followers would
be resurrected as the Christ and his followers (Post, 2007).
The dominant form of religious terrorism in the fourth religious
wave, however, is that perpetrated by Islamist extremists. The Koran specifically prohibits suicide. But radical interpretations of
the Koran have led to employing suicide terrorism, justifying this
as defensive aggression, rationalizing that this is not suicide but
martyrdom, which is rewarded with a higher place in paradise
(Ali & Post, 2008). Rapoport dates the beginning of this wave
to 1979, when Shiite Muslim militants, screaming â€œDeath to the
Great Satan,â€ seized the U.S. embassy in Tehran and held the
occupants hostage for 444 days, not releasing them until the inauguration of President Ronald Regan in January 1981. A dramatic
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 253
event in the early years of this wave was the truck bombing of the
marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, in October 1983, in which
241 U.S. military personnel were killed. At the same time, a suicide bomber driving a pickup truck laden with explosives drove
into a building housing French paratroopers, killing 58. The attacks, carried out by Hezbollah, the militant Shiite Lebanese Islamic terrorist group, and sponsored by Iran, were justified by
their spiritual mentor, Sheikh Fadlallah, who indicated that the
prohibition against suicide was overridden by the special times
and justified the martyrdom action of the militants (Kramer,
1998). Thus the prohibited act of suicide was reframed as the revered act of martyrdom (Ali & Post, 2008). This act transformed
the role of the United States in the Middle East as honest broker. Ayatollah Khomeini was impressed by the innovative tactic
of the Hezbollah terrorists, and suicide terrorism was to become
a staple of militant Islamist terrorists.
While Ayatollah Khomeini was a Shiite Muslim, Osama bin
Laden, a Wahhabi Sunni Muslim, used the same justification for
the terrorist violence of his group, al-Qaeda (the base). Despite
the substantial aid the United States provided to the Muslim militants in their ultimately victorious struggle to expel the Soviet
Union, which had invaded the Muslim state of Afghanistan, bin
Laden was accorded near God-like status after his victory over the
Soviet superpower. He next turned his attention to the remaining superpower, the United States, whose troops still remained
on bases in Saudi Arabia, â€œthe land of the two citiesâ€ (Mecca
and Medina), after the first Gulf War that was precipitated by
the invasion of Kuwait by Saddam Hussein in July 1990. Initial
fatwas focused on the need to expel U.S. military from the bases
in Saudi Arabia.
In February 1993, the first World Trade Center bombing occurred. A van with a 1,336-pound fertilizer bomb was detonated
in the underground garage of the North Tower. Had the van
been parked in a position in the underground garage some 100
yards from where it was placed, the plan to have the North Tower
collapse against the South Tower, killing tens of thousands, would
While only six were killed, there were more than a thousand injured. A massive task force was able to identify the perpetrators.
Evidence established that the plot was carried out by a group of
Islamist terrorists headed by Ramzi Yousef, an electrical engineer
ultimately captured in Pakistan. A plan to explode 12 airliners
bound for the United States from Asia was found in encrypted
form on Yousefâ€™s computer. While al-Qaeda never claimed responsibility for the bombing, the attack was financed by Yousefâ€™s
uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the architect of the 9/11 attacks
on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Khalid Sheik Mohammed was to become the chief of operations of al-Qaeda. No
longer was the United States immune from international terrorism; yet quickly Americans forgot and basked in their customary
sense of invulnerability.
In 1996, in what was to be the second largest terrorist attack
since the bombing of the U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut in 1983,
a truck bomb was detonated in a U.S. military housing compound, Khobar Towers, in Saudi Arabia, killing 19. Hundreds of
thousands of the U.S. military were now based in the holy land of
Saudi Arabia, incensing Muslim extremists against this invasion
of the holy land by infidels. In 1998, in a coordinated twin city
attack, al-Qaedaâ€“supported terrorists detonated massive truck
bombs against U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, leading to hundreds of deaths and massive damage. This resulted in the FBI putting Osama bin Laden, identified
as the mastermind behind this plot, on its ten most wanted list.
In October 2000, the USS Cole, a Navy frigate, was attacked by
a small craft laden with 300â€“700 pounds of explosives during a
routine refueling stop in Aden, Yemen. The craft hit the port side
of the frigate; the resulting explosion led to 19 deaths and 37
casualties. An al-Qaeda operation, this success and the success in
the Khobar Towers attacks against U.S. military and against the
U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania only added to the luster of
bin Ladenâ€™s heroic reputation. He was on a roll.
In February 1998, confirming the United States as a potential
target, an important fatwa, â€œThe Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders,â€ was issued that signaled a broader purpose and target than
earlier religious declarations.
The ruling to kill the Americans and their alliesâ€”civilians and
militaryâ€”is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 255
any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the
al-Aqsa Mosque and the holy mosque [Mecca] from their grip,
and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam,
defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance
with the words of Almighty God, â€œand fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,â€ and â€œfight them until there is no
more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in
Weâ€”with Godâ€™s helpâ€”call on every Muslim who believes in God
and wishes to be rewarded to comply with Godâ€™s order to kill the
Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they
find it. (as cited in Post, 2004, p. 8)
Take note of the phrase: â€œThe ruling [was] to kill the Americansâ€¦â€”civilians and militaryâ€”â€¦in any country in which it is possible to do it.â€ No longer was the struggle to expel U.S. military
from Saudi Arabia. Now the gloves were off, but when the attacks of 9/11 occurred, it was a devastating blow to the American
The coordinated twin city attack in which hijacked U.S. airliners crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon with
3,000 casualties transformed the international landscape. In a
television posting after the devastating attack, bin Laden warned
pious Muslims not to live or work in high rise buildings or fly, because there were thousands of Muslims committed to martyrdom
who would kill the weak Americans clinging to life. Betraying his
narcissistic preoccupation with his heroic image, in a home video
bin Laden wondered how the event had played in Jiddah and indicated that the results had exceeded his expectations.
The victory in Afghanistan against the Soviet superpower became the basis of bin Ladenâ€™s charismatic leader-follower relationship with his followers. He had preached during the ten-year
struggle that Allah favored the underdog, and when bin Laden
and his Afghan Arabs succeeded in expelling the Soviet forces
from Afghanistan, this confirmed that he was an all-knowing, allpowerful leader. But with success, bin Laden had lost his enemy.
The presence of the U.S. military in Muslim lands provided him
with the rationale to shift his attention to the United States, the
last remaining superpower. Initially, attacks were targeted against
the U.S. military in the Middle East. The magnitude of the 2001
attacks in New York and Washington, the most devastating terrorist attack in history, confirmed for bin Laden and his followers that they had a historic role to play in the struggle to liberate
Islam from Western domination and its corrupt influences. The
architect of the twin towers attacks was instantly promoted to international stardom, the greatest terrorist of all time, a hero to
alienated Muslim youth who were empowered by his dramatic act
and flocked to al-Qaeda recruitment offices.
This attack on the U.S. homeland led President George W.
Bush to declare a war on terror and within a few weeks to begin
mobilizing for a military strike against al-Qaeda central, which
was based in Taliban-controlled Afghanistan. This was not statesupported terrorism, but rather wealthy al-Qaeda led by wealthy
Osama bin Laden supporting the failed state of Afghanistan. For
the first 20 years of the fourth wave, the religious extremist phase,
the first wavelet concerned the growth and international expansion of religious extremist terrorism, especially Islamist extremism under his charismatic leadership of al-Qaeda. Concomitantly,
Shiite terrorism, supported by Iran, with the growth of Hamas
and Hezbollah, continued apace.
In the mid 1990s, reflecting a pseudo-Christian ideology, an act
of domestic terrorism within the United States occurred when
the right wing extremist Timothy McVeigh, consumed by hatred
of the United States government, carried out a major attack on
the Alfred P. Murah federal building in Oklahoma City on April
19, 1995, the largest domestic terrorism attack to date, until the
later attacks of 9/11. One hundred sixty-eight people were killed
in the massive explosion, timed to create â€œmaximal body count,â€
and more than 680 were injured. Within a 16-block radius, 324
buildings were destroyed or damaged, with an estimated property loss of $652 million. The date of the attack is significant as
it was timed to coincide with the anniversary of the conflagration at Ranch Apocalypse, the Branch Davidian headquarters in
Waco, Texas, in which David Koresh and 75 of his true believer
followers perished during the FBI siege of their headquarters.
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 257
The paranoid right in the United States had delegitimized the
federal government, developed a pseudo-Christian ideology to
provide a rationale for their fear and distrust of Washington, and
formed the Church of Jesus Christ, Christian. Why â€œJesus Christ,
Christianâ€? Because for these intensely racist anti-Semitic individuals, it was unthinkable that Christ could have been a Jew.
The outlines of their creative theology, the basis of the Christian
Identity movement, can be summarized as follows:
In the Garden of Eden, Eve mated with two: Adam, who was
blond haired and blue eyed, from whom the true chosen people
descended, the Adamic line, the Aryan nation. Abel was first of
the Adamic line. She also mated with the serpent who was the
devil in disguise, from whom the Jews, the spawn of the devil
descended. Cain was the first of this line. The Garden of Eden was
Godâ€™s second attempt at creation. The first attempt failed, from
which a group of sub-humans emerged, the â€œmud people,â€ blacks
and people of color. When Cain slew Abel, it was the prototype of
the genocide of the whites, the true chosen people, by the spawn
of the devil, the Jews, who controlled and manipulated the â€œmud
people.â€ The apocalypse is approaching, the final battle will be
between the true chosen people, the Aryan nations, the forces
of good, and the Jews, the forces of evil. It is the God-given task
of the Aryans to warn of the dangers represented by the Jews in
league with â€œthe mud people,â€ and to prepare for the final battle
and destroy them. The Aryan Nation is the action arm of the
Christian Identity movement.2
The creedal statement of the Aryan Nations and the Church of
Jesus Christ, Christian, to which new members swear on joining,
embodies this ideology:
We believe that there are literal children of Satan in the world today. These children are the descendants of Cain, who was a result
of Eveâ€™s original sin, her physical seduction by Satanâ€¦There is a
battle and a natural enmity between the children of Satan and the
children of the Most High Godâ€¦We believe there is a battle being
2. For an extensive discussion of the origins of the Christian Identity movement and its
justification of violence against Jews and people of color, see Robins and Post (1997, pp.
fought this day between the children of darkness (known today
as Jews) and the children of light (God), the Aryan race, the true
Israel of the Bible. (as cited in Barkun, 1994, p. 131)
Thus, the extremists in the militia movement, which achieved
great prominence in the 1990s, are not weekend warriors but
are preparing for this final battle. While this extremist sentiment
has not been the basis for violent actions in the United States
in recent years, these sentiments are related to the radical right
in Europe, which has carried out violent actions against Muslim
Ã©migrÃ©s. A recent example was Anders Breivik who killed 77 in
a rampage in Norway in 2011, first killing 8 in a bombing of
government buildings in Oslo, then killing 69, mostly teenagers,
in a mass shooting at a labor youth camp on the island of Utoya.
Breivik characterized himself as â€œthe point of the spear,â€ seeking
to warn of the danger of Muslim â€œmongrelizationâ€ of Christian
Europe. He has been convicted of mass murder and is now serving a life sentence in a Norwegian prison.
As noted earlier, the second phase of the wave of religious terrorism was precipitated by the al-Qaeda attacks of 9/11 on the
World Trade Center and the Pentagon, with the subsequent declaration of a war on terror by President George W. Bush and
the initiation of the war in Afghanistan in October 2001, as the
first battle of that continuing war. That led to the destruction
of al-Qaeda central in Afghanistan and the flight of al-Qaeda
leadership. From a place of hiding in the mountainous region of
Pakistan, bin Laden sent out a communiquÃ© instructing his franchised groups that it was now up to them to plan and fund operations previously planned and funded by al-Qaeda central, under
the leadership of bin Laden and his deputy Ayman al-Zawahiri.
A decision to decentralize was an adaptive response now that
al-Qaeda leadership was on the run. It was up to such organizations as al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, al-Qaeda in Iraq, and
other affiliates to continue the struggle against the West, but the
leaders would continue to provide guidance. The West mounted
a strategy of decapitation of al-Qaeda, relying on sophisticated remotely piloted aircraft (drones). This program, while producing
a major outcry of invasion of sovereignty by Pakistan, was quite
successful in killing a significant number of senior al-Qaeda leaders and placing al-Qaeda on the defensive.
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 259
This phase of the wave of religious extremist terrorism was
concluded with the successful raid on bin Ladenâ€™s headquarters
in Abbottabad, Pakistan, conducted from Afghanistan by a joint
CIA/Navy Special Forces (U.S. SEALs) operation in which bin
Laden was killed. The identification of bin Ladenâ€™s refuge in Pakistan was the result of a massive intelligence effort.
With this punctuation mark, the third phase of the wave commenced. Now, however, the al-Qaeda elements, such as al-Qaeda
in the Arabian Peninsula and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb,
pursued nationalistic objectives, although still attacking the West
in the name of radical Islam. A good example of this was the September 2013 attack which killed 72 people in an upscale shopping mall in Nairobi, Kenya, carried out by the Somali terrorist
group, al-Shabaab, in revenge for Kenyaâ€™s support for the Somali
A NEW PHASE: THE VIRTUAL COMMUNITY OF HATRED AND
LONE WOLF TERRORISM3
Another phase is emerging, a reflection of the communication
revolution, which is increasingly evident. Indeed, it would be demeaning to consider this just another â€œwavelet.â€ Rather, it may
prove to be a tsunami. While it is difficult in the midst of a historical process to have the perspective to identify this as the beginning of a fifth wave, the social media revolution may indeed
prove to be the next one.
The wave of social protest that swept the Middle East, popularly known as the Arab Spring, began in December 2010, catalyzed by a cell phone photo of a vegetable peddler in Tunis who
set himself on fire to protest the confiscation of his cart and the
humiliation by public officials. The image went viral, leading to
widespread protests, forcing then President Zine al-Abidine Ben
Ali, who had ruled Tunisia for 23 years, to step down after 23
days of protest. The success of the social mediaâ€“inspired revolution in Tunisia also inspired citizens throughout the Middle East,
leading to the overthrow of the authoritarian leaders of Egypt,
Libya, and Yemen and sparking the civilian rebellion in Syria. A
3. This section of the paper draws significantly on a paper on lone wolf psychology (McGinnis, Moody, & Post, 2013).
major slogan of the protesters throughout the Arab world was:
â€œThe people want to bring down the regime.â€ Hosni Mubarak,
who had ruled Egypt with an iron fist for 30 years, was forced to
step down after only 18 days of protest, in what came to be called
the cell phone revolution.
In fact, a year and a half earlier, it was the bloody image of a
young Iranian woman, Neda Agha-Soltanâ€”who was shot in the
chest while speaking on her cell phone during a political protest
in June 2009â€”that demonstrated the power of the new media.
The image, captured on a bystanderâ€™s cell phone, went viral and
led to widespread protests in Iran against the election results.
The image of Neda bleeding to death was posted on YouTube,
Facebook, and Twitter and was widely shown on the Internet and
television. It became the spark that precipitated the short-lived
wave of political protests, until government security ruthlessly
suppressed them. With every citizen potentially a photojournalist, no longer could dictatorial regimes control the media and
suppress news of popular expressions of protest.
While the initial sentiment facilitated by the Internet and social media was that of the people of oppressed societies yearning
to be free, the overthrow of these regimes did not produce a yield
of budding democracies. It powerfully demonstrated, however,
the power of the new media. And in the world of terrorism and
political violence, it has been a power that has been exploited to
create a virtual community of hatred.
The Psychology of the Lone Wolf and Wolf Packs
No longer is the threat just from abroad, as was the case with the
attacks of September 11, 2001; the threat is now increasingly from
within, from homegrown terrorists who are inspired by violent
Islamist ideology to plan and execute attacks where they live.
â€”U.S. Senate Committee on
Homeland Security and
Governmental Affairs, 2008
During the past decade, there has been an increasing incidence
of violent terrorist actions carried out by individuals unaffiliated
with al-Qaeda central or its affiliates. This appears to be due to
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 261
the fact that al-Qaedaâ€™s new strategy is â€œto empower and motivate individuals to commit acts of violence completely outside
any terrorist chain of commandâ€ (Hoffman cited in Thompson,
2009). Homegrown terrorism, or for the purposes of this paper,
lone wolf terrorism, has been defined as â€œradicalized groups and
individuals that are not regularly affiliated with, but draw clear
inspiration and occasional guidance from, al-Qaeda core or affiliated movementsâ€ (Nelson & Sanderson, 2011, p. vii). While
new research continues to surface on this particular topic, there
still remains a surprising lack of research on identifiable psychological commonalities and patterns of lone wolves that can help
combat the threat of the lone, violent jihadist.
There has been some preliminary work on virtual group dynamics with reference to hacking groups. In research on the dangerous IT insider, consideration was given to how a seemingly
mild introverted individual can become very aggressive online.
Accordingly, the group dynamics of virtual groups in the hacking world tend to be unstable, with a shifting leadership. There
is characteristically a competition for leadership, with the bolder
hackers temporarily dominating. This puts a premium on bolder
and more aggressive schemes, and cautionary criticism is rare.
For the virtual radical group online, aggressive language and
dangerous plans can be rewarded in this competitive information space, and ideas can lead to dangerous actions, pushing the
isolated individual online to ever more aggressive plans, seeking
the admiration of their fellow online radicals. For these isolated
individuals, there is a premium on belonging, and that in turn
can lead fantasy to become reality, as exemplified by several of
the â€œwolf packsâ€ to be discussed.
The lone wolf terrorist phenomenon is very diverse. In Europe,
many extremists have come from impoverished and isolated communities (Leiken, 2005; Pregulman & Burke, 2012). However, in
the United States, homegrown terrorists come from a diverse
group of educational, socioeconomic, ethnic, and family backgrounds. Some have criminal backgrounds, while others are highly educated. They vary in levels of operational ability, training
and access to financing. Their plots require varying degrees of
planning, and the likelihood of success tends to be rather limited,
with plots often thwarted prior to any real threat. But as is dem-
onstrated by the case of the Tsarnaev brothers, the perpetrators
of the Boston Marathon bombings, even the simplest of plots can
create devastating consequences.
Osama bin Laden was acutely aware of the importance of strategic communication. Indeed, on an al-Qaeda website, a specific
Internet strategy was spelled out.
Due to the advances of modern technology, it is easy to spread
news, information, articles and other information over the Internet. We strongly urge Muslim Internet professionals to spread and
disseminate news and information about the Jihad through e-mail
lists, discussion groups, and their own websites. If you fail to do
this, and our site closes down before you have done this, we may
hold you to account before Allah on the Day of Judgmentâ€¦This
way, even if our sites are closed down, the material will live on
with the Grace of Allah. (Weimann, 2006, p. 66)
First in the United States and then internationally, the American-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, who became known as â€œthe bin
Laden of the Internet,â€ played a lead role in advancing al-Qaedaâ€™s cause and perspective through the Internet. His eloquent
sermons reflect three themes:
â€¢ Muslims are victims. Their economic and social difficulties
are caused by their enemies.
â€¢ They, the enemy out to humiliate and defeat Muslims, are
the West, especially the United States, Great Britain, and
â€¢ Therefore, jihad is required by all Muslims to defend
Islam, which is under attack, against them. It is justified
Three dramatic cases in recent years suggest the psychological
qualities of individuals particularly attracted to this virtual community of hatred. And there are suggestions of a generational
provenance as well. All three had contact with al-Awlaki. Major
Nidal Hasan, the Army psychiatrist responsible for the massacre
at Fort Hood, was impressed by al-Awlakiâ€™s sermons, which he
heard in Northern Virginia. He contacted Imam al-Awlaki by email when he was stationed in Fort Hood, indicating he was lonely and sought friends. They exchanged some 20 e-mails. In one,
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 263
he asked al-Awlaki, â€œIs it OK for a Muslim to kill soldiers if their
mission is to kill Muslims?â€ He was told, â€œYes.â€ Indeed, he was
told it was an obligation. In effect, it was explained that this was
consistent with defensive jihad. After the November 5, 2009, Fort
Hood massacre, in which Major Hasan killed 13 and wounded
32, al-Awlaki praised Major Hasan as a hero. Hasan, who offered
no defense, was sentenced to death by an Army court martial.
In considering the psychodynamics of the social revolutionary
terrorists of the third wave, it has been suggested that they were
rebelling against the generation of their parents, which was identified with the regime.
â€¢ The goal of the group is to destroy the world of their fathers.
â€¢ Their acts of terrorism are acts of retaliation for real and
imagined hurts against the society of their parents.
â€¢ They are symbolically dissenting against parents loyal to
These are the generational dynamics of Osama bin Laden. When
he criticized the Saudi ruling class from Yemen for hosting the
U.S. military in the â€œland of the two cities,â€ he was rebelling
against the older generation of his family, which is strongly identified with the Saudi regime that enriched them. For his trouble,
bin Laden was stripped of his Saudi passport, and his family
turned against him. Thus, bin Laden was not merely a Muslim
fundamentalist terrorist leader; he also displayed the psychological characteristics of a social revolutionary. And these are the
dynamics of Anwar al-Awlaki. His father was cosmopolitan, had
served as minister of agriculture and was chancellor at two Yemeni universities. He was not especially religious. From his youth
onward, al-Awlaki was an ardent Muslim preacher, who increasingly blamed the West, and saw Muslims as victims.
Umar Farouk Abdulmatallab, â€œthe underwear bomber,â€
showed the same generational provenance. The son of a wealthy
cosmopolitan Nigerian banker who was not particularly pious,
Abdulmatallab became increasingly religious and intolerant in
the several years preceding his attempted martyrdom attack on
the Detroit-bound aircraft by trying to detonate explosives in his
underwear. He complained that his father ate meat that was â€œha-
ramâ€ (forbidden); he would not eat with his family and became
Faisal Shahzad, the â€œTimes Square bomber,â€ also displayed the
same generational dynamics. He was the son of a prominent cosmopolitan senior Pakistani military officer who was not particularly pious. Shahzad became increasingly religious and intolerant
in the several years preceding his attempted car bomb attack in
Times Square. He stopped drinking and tried to get his father
and friends to stop drinking. He also tried to force his wife to
wear the hijab. He broke contact with his family.
To be sure, the pattern of pious sons of prominent secular fathers associated with the regime rebelling against their fathersâ€™
world as they became increasingly pious and consumed by the
world of radical Islam is merely suggestive. But this is not just selfradicalization. Rather, there is trolling of social networking sites
by radicalizers like al-Awlaki, seeking lonely, alienated individuals
to whom they give a sense of belonging and significance. Major
Hasan, Abdulmatallab, and Shahzad were lonely and isolated,
found in the language on the radical Islamist web sites that they
were not alone, and received comfort in feeling they belonged
to the virtual community of hatred. Their difficulties were not
of their making; rather, they were victims of oppression by the
West. Therefore, striking out violently at their oppressors was not
only justified, it was required. Gabi Weimann, author of Terror on
the Internet, estimates there are more than 7,000 radical Islamist
web sites at the present time (2006). Although there may be only
a handful of radicalizers, like al-Awlaki, who was killed by a drone
strike in Yemen in December 2011, the radical sermons and messages spread rapidly from site to site, as emphasized in the alQaeda Internet strategy quoted above.
To summarize, it is suggested that the lone wolves are isolated loners and â€œlosers,â€ with fractured relations with family. In
search of belonging, they found the virtual community of hatred
an attractive environment, with its repetitive messages of oppression which reinforced their view of themselves as victims. Some
showed compensatory grandiosity, as demonstrated by this message from Hosam Maher Husein Smadi: â€œâ€˜We shall attack them
in their very own homes,â€™ he wrote on March 29, speaking about
Americans. â€˜Brother, by God, we shall attack them in a manner
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 265
that hurts, an attack that shakes the worldâ€™â€ (McKinley, 2009, p.
Seeking recognition, some sought to go out in a â€œblaze of glory.â€ Not all were immediately consumed by the quest for martyrdom but were persuaded to strike in such a manner that they
could survive. This was the case with Antonio Martinez, who was
persuaded that by using a car bomb he could avoid a shootout
and live to fight another day. In reviewing the demographics of
U.S. lone wolves, there was a wide spectrum of countries of origin. Many of the U.S.â€“born lone wolves were prison converts.
They demonstrated a wide age range from teenage to late 60s.
On the basis of a review of 28 U.S. lone wolves, McGinnis,
Moody, and Post (2013) developed a typology with four types
of lone wolves. These types overlap extensively, but they reflect
some of the variance within the lone wolf population. The four
types are: glory seekers, hero worshippers, naÃ¯ve romantics, and radical
The glory seekers were â€œlosersâ€ who demonstrated a pattern of
personal failure. Through an act of terrorism, they were seeking fame and a sense of significance in their otherwise empty
lives. Examples of glory seekers are: Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif
(aka Joseph Anthony Davis) and Walli Mujahidh (aka Frederick
Domingue, Jr.). Latif and Mujahidh plotted to attack a Seattle
military entrance processing station using machine guns and
grenades they had purchased from undercover law enforcement
officers. Demonstrating the magnitude of their quest for glory,
Latif stated: â€œWeâ€™re trying to send a message. Weâ€™re trying to get
something thatâ€™s gonna be on CNN and all over the worldâ€ (Esposito & Ryan, 2011).
The hero worshippers feel empty, and they seek to emulate an
idealized other seen as embodying all they would like to be. They
fall under the charismatic influence of others like Osama bin
Laden, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, and Anwar al-Awlaki. Major Nidal
Hasan, who has already been discussed, and Naser Jason Abdo
are both examples. Nidal Hasan was inspired by al-Awlaki. Hasan
had been impressed by the sermons of the charismatic al-Awlaki he had heard in northern Virginia, and sought his guidance
online. Naser Jason Abdo in turn was inspired by Nidal Hasan.
Abdo was a U.S. Army soldier who went AWOL and traveled to
a town near Fort Hood, where he planned to carry out an attack
on a crowded restaurant using bombs made from pressure cookers. The restaurant was popular with soldiers from the nearby
base. At his trial, Abdo referred to Nidal Hasan as â€œmy brother,â€
and he stated that he lived in Hasanâ€™s shadow despite â€œefforts to
The naÃ¯ve romantics are notable for their psychological immaturity. As â€œwannabeâ€ terrorists, they struggle with self-identity.
They have a romanticized notion of â€œrevolution.â€ They are so
naÃ¯ve as individuals that they might not have been able to plot
effectively without the assistance of the undercover agents carrying out the sting. Antonio Martinez is an example of the naÃ¯ve
romantic. He emigrated from Nicaragua with his mother and siblings, did not graduate from high school, and was arrested at age
16 for armed robbery. He then decided to become a Christian
and was baptized but converted to Islam a year later. Martinez
posted radical messages on a jihad social networking site about
joining the mujahedeen, which drew the attention of the FBI. He
was arrested in an undercover FBI operation after attempting to
detonate a fake car bomb outside a military recruiting center. He
chose the recruiting center because he had considered enlisting
in the Army before converting to Islam. He stated that his dream
was to join the ranks of the mujahedeen, but admitted to the FBI
informant that he did not know how to build a bomb and had
suggested stuffing socks up exhaust pipes to kill soldiers.
The radical altruists subordinate their individuality to the group
cause. They act â€œfor the sake of my people.â€ They have been persuaded that martyrdom is necessary for the greater good of besieged Muslims everywhere and will win them a higher place in
paradise. The psychology of the radical altruist is well conveyed
by these words of Leila Khaled, an early example of the radical
I knew that I had a role to play. I realized that my historic mission
was as a warrior in the inevitable battle between oppressors and
oppressed, exploiters and exploited. I decided to become a revolutionary in order to liberate my people and myself. (Post, 2007, p.
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 267
Faisal Shahzad, the â€œTimes Square bomberâ€ discussed earlier, is
an example of a contemporary radical altruist. He had come to
believe it was his duty to carry out an act of violent jihad. Referring to himself as a â€œMuslim soldier,â€ he believed he was acting
for the greater good of all Muslims, to ease their suffering and to
fight back against the oppressor. â€œâ€˜Itâ€™s a war. I am part of the answer to the U.S. terrorizing the Muslim nations and the Muslim
people,â€™ he said. â€˜On behalf of that, Iâ€™m revenging the attack.â€™â€
(Shifrel & Martinez, 2010).
Lone Wolf Packs
Examples of lone wolf packs include the Lackawanna Six, Fort
Dix Six, and the northern Virginia Five. They show powerful
group dynamics, demonstrating that groups can make more dangerous decisions than individuals acting on their own. Reflecting
â€œgroupthink,â€ they both reinforce their sense of superiority and
The Fort Dix Six is an interesting example. The three Duka
brothers from former Yugoslavia and their friends plotted to attack Fort Dix with firearms and grenade launchers. The members
were not well-adjusted in their roles in American life and displayed signs of antisocial traits. They had a â€œgangster attitude.â€
The group became more extreme in religious beliefs as time went
on, and their evolving radicalization provided a deeper sense of
belonging. They continually fed off each other, marshaling their
resolve but not giving voice to their doubts.
Another prominent example of a quite large wolf pack, a romanticized brotherhood of alienated diasporans, is well represented by more than forty youths in the Somali diaspora in the
Minneapolis area. They came to the United States seeking refuge
from the political violence in Somalia but were rebuffed by the
host society. Defensively, they sought â€œbrotherhood,â€ and formed
a wolf pack of what was initially a fantasized organization. Failing
to assimilate in the United States, they were sold a romanticized
version of al-Shabaab and came to idealize this Somali terrorist
group. They sought altruistically to join the struggle in Somalia,
traveling there to become fighters.
With the rapid technological changes of the communications
revolution, we have moved into dangerous and uncharted waters.
Reflecting the communication revolution, frustrated, alienated
individuals and small groups can be stimulated through the Internet and social media to become radicalized and to feel they
belong to the virtual community of hatred. This is not merely
â€œhomegrownâ€ terrorism but represents a deliberate strategy of
radical Islamic terrorist organizations. Countering this online
strategy is a daunting counter-terrorist challenge, requiring great
care that in the name of security, privacy and civil liberties not be
abused. How to inject countering arguments into this multicentric information space is extremely challenging; for individuals
exposed to radicalizing messages will be resistant and ready to
reject Western-sponsored web sites as propaganda. A healthy democracy must be able to tolerate dissent. One cannot eliminate
terrorism without eliminating democracy. What is technologically possible, as witnessed by the degree of electronic surveillance
conducted within the United States by the National Security
Agency, and as revealed by the Snowden leaks, does not mean it
can be done without violating the sense of privacy and civil liberties that are at the heart of robust democracy. And that would
mean becoming a terror state.
Adamic, L. (1934). Dynamite: The story of class violence in America. New
York, NY: Viking.
Ali, F., & Post, J. (2008). The history and evolution of martyrdom in the
service of defensive jihad: An analysis of suicide bombers in current
conflicts. Social Research, 75(2), 615-654.
Asbley, K., Ayers, B., Dohrn, B., Jacobs, J., Jones, J., Long, G., et al.
(1969). You donâ€™t need a weatherman to know which way the wind
blows. New Left Notes. Retrieved from http://archive.org/stream/
Barkun, M. (1994). Religion and the racist right. Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina Press.
Bion, W. R. (1961). Experiences in groups: and other papers. New York, NY:
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 269
Crenshaw, M. (1981). The causes of terrorism. Comparative Politics,
Da Silva, M. (1975). Modernization and ethnic conflict: The case of the
Basques. Comparative Politics, 7(2), 227-251.
Dylan, R. (1965). Subterranean homesick blues. On Bringing it all back
home [Record]. New York, NY: Columbia Records.
Esposito, R., & Ryan, J. (2011, June 23). Feds: Converts to Islam planned
Ft. Hood-style assault in Seattle. ABC News. Retrieved from http://
Gurr, T. R. (Ed.). (1989). Violence in America, Volume 2, Protest, rebellion,
reform. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
History of Basque nationalism: Historical background. (n.d.). Euskal
Herria Journal. Retrieved from www.ehjnavarre.org/navarre/na_history_pnv.html
Hopper, E. (2003). The social unconscious. London: Jessica Kingsley.
Horgan, J. (2005). The psychology of terrorism. New York, NY: Routledge.
Kramer, M. (1998). The moral logic of Hizballah. In W. Reich (Ed.), Origins of terrorism: Psychologies, ideologies, theologies, states of mind. (pp.
131-157). Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson Center Press.
Leiken, R. S. (2005). Europeâ€™s angry Muslims. Foreign Affairs, 84(4). Retrieved from http://www.foreignaffairs.com
Marx, K., & Engels, F. (1848). The Communist manifesto. London: The
McCauley, C., & Segal, M. (1987). Social psychology of terrorist groups.
In C. Hendrick (Ed.), Review of personality and social psychology (pp.
231-256). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
McGinnis, C., Moody, K., & Post, J. (2013, July). The psychology of lone
wolf and lone wolf pack terrorists: Joining the virtual community of hatred.
Paper presented at the annual scientific meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Herzliya, Israel.
McKinley, J. C. (2009, September 27). Friendsâ€™ portrait of Texas
bomb plot suspect at odds with F.B.I. New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/28/us/28texas.
Neibuhr, G. (1994, August 24). To churchâ€™s dismay, priest talks of â€œjustifiable homicideâ€ of abortion doctors. New York Times. Retrieved
Nelson, R., & Sanderson, T. (2011). A growing terrorist threat? Assessing â€œhomegrownâ€ extremism in the United States. Center for Strategic and International Studies, 3. Retrieved from
Post, J. M. (1983, July). Individual and group dynamics of terrorist behavior.
Paper presented at the 7th World Congress of Psychiatry, Vienna,
Austria. In P. Pichot, P. Berner, & K. Thau (Eds.), (1985), Drug dependence and alcoholism, forensic psychiatry, military psychiatry (pp.
381-386). New York, NY: Plenum Press.
Post, J. (1986). Individual, group, and organizational psychology of political
terrorism. Paper presented at the 9th annual meeting of the International Society of Political Psychology, Amsterdam.
Post, J. M. (1987a). Terrorist psycho-logic: Terrorist behavior as a product of
psychological forces. Paper presented at the international conference
on Psychological Dimensions of Terrorism, sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, The Smithsonian
Institution. In W. Reich, (Ed.), (1990), Origins of terrorism: Psychologies, ideologies, theologies, states of mind (pp. 25-40). New York, NY:
Cambridge University Press; Washington, DC: Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.
Post, J. M. (1987b). â€œItâ€™s us against themâ€: The basic assumptions of
political terrorists. In J. Kranz (Ed.), Irrationality in social and organizational life (pp. 68â€“75). Washington, DC: A.K. Rice Institute Press.
Post, J. M. (2004). Leaders and their followers in a dangerous world: The
psychology of political behavior. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.
Post, J. M. (2005). Psychology. In the Club de Madrid Series on Democracy
and Terrorism, Volume 1, Addressing the causes of terrorism (pp. 7-12).
Madrid, Spain: Club de Madrid. http://safe-democracy.org/docs/
Post, J. M. (2007). The mind of the terrorist: The psychology of terrorism from
the IRA to Al Qaeda. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan.
Pregulman, A., & Burke, E. (2012). Homegrown terrorism. AQAM Futures Project Case Study Series Case Study Number 7. Washington,
DC: Center for Strategic and International Studies. http://csis.org/
Rapoport, D. C. (2004). The four waves of modern terrorism. In A.
K. Cronin & J. Ludes (Eds.), Attacking terrorism: Elements of a grand
strategy (pp. 46â€“73). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.
Robins, R. S., & Post, J. M. (1997). Political paranoia: The psychopolitics of
hatred. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.
Shifrel, S., & Martinez, J. (2010, June 21). Times Square terror suspect
Faisal Shahzad admits plot to use weapon of mass destruction. New
York Daily News. Retrieved from http://www.nydailynews.com/
TERRORISM AND RIGHT-WING EXTREMISM 271
Tamil National Leader Velupillai Pirapaharanâ€™s Interview. (1986,
March). The Week. Retrieved from www.eelam.com/interviews/leader_march_86.html
Thompson, M. (2009, November 11). Fort Hood highlights a threat of
homegrown jihad. Time. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/
Weather Underground Organization. (1974). Prairie fire: The politics of
revolutionary anti-imperialism: Political statement of the Weather Underground. n.p.: Weather Underground.
Weimann, G. (2006). Terror on the Internet: The new arena, the new challenges. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.
Woodworth, P. (2001). Why do they kill? The Basque conflict in Spain.
World Policy Journal, 18(1), 1-12.
Yonah, A., & Pluchinsky, D. (Eds.). (1992). Europeâ€™s last Red terrorists: The
fighting Communist organizations. Washington, DC: Frank Cass.
Elliott School of International Affairs
The George Washington University
Washington, DC 20052
E-mail: [email protected]
Reproduced with permission of the copyright owner. Further reproduction prohibited without
Get Professional Assignment Help Cheaply
Are you busy and do not have time to handle your assignment? Are you scared that your paper will not make the grade? Do you have responsibilities that may hinder you from turning in your assignment on time? Are you tired and can barely handle your assignment? Are your grades inconsistent?
Whichever your reason is, it is valid! You can get professional academic help from our service at affordable rates. We have a team of professional academic writers who can handle all your assignments.
Why Choose Our Academic Writing Service?
- Plagiarism free papers
- Timely delivery
- Any deadline
- Skilled, Experienced Native English Writers
- Subject-relevant academic writer
- Adherence to paper instructions
- Ability to tackle bulk assignments
- Reasonable prices
- 24/7 Customer Support
- Get superb grades consistently
Online Academic Help With Different Subjects
Students barely have time to read. We got you! Have your literature essay or book review written without having the hassle of reading the book. You can get your literature paper custom-written for you by our literature specialists.
Do you struggle with finance? No need to torture yourself if finance is not your cup of tea. You can order your finance paper from our academic writing service and get 100% original work from competent finance experts.
While psychology may be an interesting subject, you may lack sufficient time to handle your assignments. Don’t despair; by using our academic writing service, you can be assured of perfect grades. Moreover, your grades will be consistent.
Engineering is quite a demanding subject. Students face a lot of pressure and barely have enough time to do what they love to do. Our academic writing service got you covered! Our engineering specialists follow the paper instructions and ensure timely delivery of the paper.
In the nursing course, you may have difficulties with literature reviews, annotated bibliographies, critical essays, and other assignments. Our nursing assignment writers will offer you professional nursing paper help at low prices.
Truth be told, sociology papers can be quite exhausting. Our academic writing service relieves you of fatigue, pressure, and stress. You can relax and have peace of mind as our academic writers handle your sociology assignment.
We take pride in having some of the best business writers in the industry. Our business writers have a lot of experience in the field. They are reliable, and you can be assured of a high-grade paper. They are able to handle business papers of any subject, length, deadline, and difficulty!
We boast of having some of the most experienced statistics experts in the industry. Our statistics experts have diverse skills, expertise, and knowledge to handle any kind of assignment. They have access to all kinds of software to get your assignment done.
Writing a law essay may prove to be an insurmountable obstacle, especially when you need to know the peculiarities of the legislative framework. Take advantage of our top-notch law specialists and get superb grades and 100% satisfaction.
What discipline/subjects do you deal in?
We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.
Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?
Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.
What if I don’t like the paper?
There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.
- When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
- We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.
In the event that you don’t like your paper:
- The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
- We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
- Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.
Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?
Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.
What if the paper is plagiarized?
We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.
When will I get my paper?
You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.
Will anyone find out that I used your services?
We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.
How our Assignment Help Service Works
1. Place an order
You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.
2. Pay for the order
Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.
3. Track the progress
You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.
4. Download the paper
The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.