J S Yadav
PSYCHOSOCIAL PERSPECTIVE OF TERRORISM
usually refers to the killing of people by non-government political activists
for political reasons but many organizations given definition of terrorism by
their own perspectives like UN Security Council Resolution 1566 (2004)
gives definition as it is criminal acts,
against civilians, committed with the intent to cause death or serious bodily
injury with the purpose to provoke a state of terror in the general public or
in a group of persons or particular persons, intimidate a population or compel
a government or an international organization to do or to abstain from doing
any act 1.
European Union define terrorism for legal purposes, this define that terrorist
offences are certain criminal offences committed against persons or their
properties, the nature or context of offences , may seriously damage a country
or an organization. It seriously intimidating the population or unduly
compelling a government or international organization to perform or abstain
from performing any act. It may seriously destabilizing or destroying the
fundamental political, constitutional, economic or social structures of a
country or an international organization 2. The law of United States
defines terrorism as activities that involve violence or life-threatening acts
that are violation of the criminal laws of any State and appear to be intended
(I) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population (ii) to influence the policy
of a government by intimidation or coercion (iii) to affect the conduct of a
government by mass destruction, assassination, or kidnapping. The typical terrorist objectives include: 1. Attract
public attention to the group’s grievances 2. Encourage empathy for
their unfair/unjust situation and sympathy for the cause 3. Demonstrate
the inability of the state to provide security 4. Demonstrate the
illegitimacy of the state’s institutions 5. Polarize the public to
simplify the debates and arguments 6. Coerce the public into pressuring
the state into compromise solutions 7. Force the state into repressive
reactions that discredit the government 8. Force the state into repressive
reactions that serve to recruit new members and supporters 9. Demonstrate
the economic consequences of continued violence 10. Highlight the
potential political consequences of continued conflict 11. Attract
international attention and encourageintervention 12.
Provoke widespread civil uprising to change the government, or form a separate
Thus there are frequent
questions arises to mental health professionals that (1). What make people
become terrorist (2). What going on in terrorist mind (3). How you diagnose the
terrorist, but answer is not so easy, because there are different kinds of
terrorism and terror violence, each terrorist has his own personality,
terrorist have particular types of psychological characteristics, mental health
professional are not aware of internal politics of different countries 4.
According some controversy it is revolutionary acts organised
against military and “One man’s terrorism is another man’s
freedom fighter”. But this term is highly avoidable because no any
movement allow to torture of his prisoners and cruel against own citizens.
Though predictive factors of developing terrorism is very difficult, but
sometimes few factors gives important diagnostic supports , these factors are
(1). Preparatory and personality type taking about leaders and followers (2)
psychological, financial dependence (3). Absence of
guardian/parents etc. 5. However in case of Suicidal
terrorism, person psychologically prepared that if they die in service of
terrorist organization or political gain, their family will receive incentives
or other reasons of including religious promise ,culture expectation,
intoxication, psychological preparation such as hypnosis, brain washing or
operant conditioning 6,7. In many condition they have in a position
that if they will not take part in suicidal mission their family will suffer
with serious consequences. Bandura 1996 explain that
terrorist behaviour not as a
consequences of innate but of cognitive reconstruction of moral
imperative, as teenagers living in hotbeds of political strife that may
directly witnessed behaviour and to imitate them
learn from their culture 8.
Karl von Clausewitz
described “war as politics are two types of terrorism: rational and
irrational. Rational terrorism has a political goal and a purpose. Irrational
terror might be described as mindless violence that serves some dark
psychological imbalance and is as difficult to understand as the motives of
serial killers. The conventional wisdom is highly politicized and may be better
characterized as propaganda, myth and misperception. One current theme is that
terrorism is not the result of poverty and economic deprivation. "Research
shows that terrorists are never poor and uneducated. “While some on the
left urge policymakers to address the root causes of terrorism 9. Kelly and Rieber1999 explain the
social theory of “acceptability of terrorist” that may take in
forms of didactic teaching by extremist in from of jihad in many religious
schools however this theory also fail to explain that why only a small minority
of among the hundreds of thousand educated students becomes actual terrorist.
It has been seen that faces of terrorism changed time to time as if we see in
past 2000, we will found that focus of terrorist organisations was nationalist separation such as the
Chechen rebels who were behind the most attacks. The number of incidents from
nationalist separatist groups has remained relatively stable in the years since
while religious extremism has grown10. In recent years according to 20013 year’s Global
Terrorism Index, Religious extremism has become the main driver of terrorism,
for example recorded 18,000 deaths in 2013, a rise of 60% on the previous year.
The majority (66%) of these were attributable to just four groups: Islamic
State (Isis) in Iraq
and Syria, Boko Haram in Nigeria, the Taliban in Afghanistan and
al-Qaida11. The Psychological theory in causes of terrorism
leads multiple factors those even affects to each other and have complex
interaction of biological, social, cognitive and emotional factors. The effects
of terrorism are different kinds it can affect directly or indirectly to the
country, psychosocial environment and humanities. The short term consequences
causes potentially affect economic growth in the run through a number of
channels. Such attacks can increase uncertainty which limits investments and
diverts foreign direct investment (FDI). In men and women ASD and PTSD are more likely to develop in those who
exposed to violence or personal threat to life, and in those experiencing
overwhelming fear. Symptoms of ASD are common following exposure to traumatic
experiences. By definition, ASD is a time-limited disorder, and the degree of
impairment or distress is highly variable. It is likely that many persons who
meet symptom criteria for the disorder will not experience prolonged functional
impairment and will not seek medical attention. However, high levels of
dissociation during and after a traumatic event have been associated with the
future development of PTSD and depression. It may be difficult to assess rates
of PTSD following acts of terrorism. Many individuals experience symptoms of
intrusion, avoidance, and arousal without meeting the event exposure criteria
of intense fear, helplessness or horror. The effects of terrorism is
short-lived but there is a minority of individuals those not directly involved
in the incidents they can also continue to experience clinical or subclinical levels of symptoms, often informs of functional
impairment. The data of exposure and risk shows that 30–40% of people
directly affected by terrorist action are likely to develop PTSD, and 20% are
likely still to be experiencing symptoms two years later. Finally
terrorism left behind consequence of negative or positive behaviour
of survivors, the positive behaviour are helping to
other sufferers, bring them for counselling etc. and
negative are development of PTSD, anxiety, depression, psychoactive substance
abuse and may pose public health and mental health burdens that exceed those of
diagnosable psychiatric disorders commonly associated with trauma. Millar L, Advocated that nature
of terrorism should be delineated and the various
psychological effects should be described, these include diagnostic
clinical syndromes, as well as individual reactions. The Interventions in the
immediate aftermath of a terrorist attack include on-scene crisis intervention,
short-term psychological stabilization, and longer-term
psychotherapeutic approaches are effective method for interventions of
survivors. However, there were significant gaps in our knowledge about how to
prepare populations and individuals for the possibility of a terrorist attack
and what interventions to apply in the immediate aftermath of such an attack 13.Therefore
in conclusion till date there is insufficient knowledge is available to fight
with terrorism, predictions and consequences.
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Report from the
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681 final – Official Journal C 9 of 15.1.2008
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