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Threat assessmentTerrorism, ideology, Terrorist, domestic, civil war, United States, NATO, Federal agents, American extremist, bomb, anti government, Aryan Nations, nuclear, militia

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All ideologies have extremist, among the extremist there are a few who are willing to partake in terrorism to advance their own ideology. No matter your belief system at least one of them probably tied to terrorism.

The term Terrorism was initiated in the late 18th century and was identified with the French government's "Reign of Terror" (1 ).

Why should we understand the terrorist mind? The answer can be found in a saying of Sun Tzu (The Art of War) it goes "Know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril."(2 ).

Terror in America

Of the 327 Terrorist acts between 1980 and 1999 239 were done by domestic terrorist and 88 international in nature(3). These numbers are probably skewed, because at the time the FBI did not consider attacks on abortion clinics terrorist acts (4 ).


Terrorism is done by extremist, but not all extremist are terrorist.
Extremism can be defined as
1. Taking a political idea to its limits, regardless of 'unfortunate' repercussions, impracticalities, arguments and feelings to the contrary, and with the intention not only to confront, but also to eliminate opposition.
2. Intolerance towards all views other than one's own.
3. Adoption of means to political ends which show disregard for the life, liberty, and human rights of others (5).

Terrorist or terrorist group are associated with a perceived injustice. They next use this injustice to single out one group from all the others, saying this does not happen to other groups of people. They then blame this injustice on another person or group. They then demonize the group, and lay the responsibility of the injustice on them. (6 ).

Their three types of terrorist
"Idealists" empathize with the suffering of a group.
"Respondents" react to an perceived injustice of their own group.
"lost souls" who are lost and maybe isolated and perhaps ostracized, they find a purpose in a radical group (7 )

Terrorist can follow four paths
"revolutionaries," they stay with a case over time
"wanderers," move from one radical group to another
"converts," break away from their past and join a group
"compliants," are persuaded to join a group by friends, relatives and lovers. (8 )

Domestic terrorist expert Frank G. McGuire said domestic terrorist have 3 things in common
First, "extremists commonly represent some attempt to distort reality for themselves and others."
Second, "they try to discourage critical examination of their beliefs, either by false logic, rhetorical trickery or some kind of intimidation. "
Third, "extremists represent an attempt to act out private, personal grudges or rationalize the pursuit of special interests in the name of the public welfare." (9 ).

People who become terrorist don't fit only one personality type. Terrorist don't suffer from mental illness, with the possible exception of their extreme beliefs. They are selectively selected from whatever group because they appear normal, so not to cause suspicion. Some believe that deep down people who are attracted to terrorism are narcissistic personalities and low self-esteem. Some researchers believe They are "action-oriented, aggressive people who are stimulus-hungry and seek excitement.", they must still be able to fit in and appear normal (10 ).


Terrorism, ideology, Terrorist, domestic, civil war, United States, NATO, Federal agents, American extremist, bomb, anti government, Aryan Nations, nuclear, militia