CRJU 20423 Chapter 13: Demystifying Crime: Chapter 13

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Criminal Justice
Course Code
CRJU 20423

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Demystifying Crime and Criminal Justice Chapter 13: Demystifying Terrorism I. The Myth a. Understanding what is different and what has changed about terrorism and the Middle East is central in determining the extent of American military deployment abroad, government expenditures on war and security, the scope of government surveillance and the privacy of Americans, the status of civil liberties, and Americans view of approximately 1.5 billion Muslims worldwide. b. Because many people do not understand the political aspirations of terrorist, they assume that terrorists are crazy mass murders, akin to serial killers. c. Second set of beliefs = they hate America, its freedoms, and democracy d. Terrorism is political violence and thus requires knowledge of social and political issues. International terrorism requires some understanding of global politics and history. e. Getting inside the head of a terrorist requires taking their worldview seriously, including antiAmerican sentiments. II. The Kernel of Truth a. The first kernel is that a small cadre of scholars argues that some suicide bombers are driven by suicidal tendencies rather than ideology, although this finding applies to a minority of suicide bombers and not at all to terrorist leaders. b. Second, alQaeda and its affiliates are antiAmerican. They also hate and kill other, including Arabs, and are actively engaging in aggression against together democracies. c. Third, while only a small minority of Islamic fundamentalists are terrorists, they do tend to see American freedom as allowing for decadence and moral filth that pollutes the globe. d. Meraris research used psychological inventories and found the bombers to be people in distress, feeling helplessness, loneliness, painfulness, and sadness, expressing pessimism and contemplations about situations without positive resolutions. e. He found that none of the participants in the suicide bombers group had psychopathic personality tendencies, and the group of terrorist organizers had a lower level of psychopathic tendencies than a control group. f. Further, some of the mental health concerns are the result of living in warzones and desolate towns. In short, mental distress that results in suicide bombing can be an adaptation to an extreme environment rather than the manifestation of mental illness rooted in brain chemistry or other mental defects. III. The Truth or the Facts a. With terrorism that goes beyond suicide bombing, discussions involve labeling rather than explanation: terrorists have done evil, therefore they are evil and because they are evil, they engage in evil deeds). b. Hudson terrorist are not psychologically different from nonterrorist. What distinguishes terrorists from nonterrorist is childhood development and
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