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Annotated Bibliography

Al Qaeda. (2018). History. Retrieved from

This source provides a more specific, detailed outline as to why and how al-Qaeda rose as

a prominent terrorist organization over the past few decades. While it doesn’t give a

psychological approach to understanding why members of Al-Qaeda committed acts of

terror, it does provide insight into the role of America and how they have contributed to

why these terrorists want to fight against western forces. This article will be helpful in

identifying the specific attacks that al-Qaeda has taken responsibility for between 1993

and 2000.

Bartoletti, S. (2010). They Called Themselves the K.K.K.: The Birth of an American Terrorist

Group. Military & Intelligence Database, 56(8), 117. Retrieved from http://link.

As a book review/summary, this source was limited in the information it provided,

however, it did offer some insight into the motivations behind the KKK- which might be

different than that of terrorist groups arising from the Middle East. This source is helpful

in that it contextualizes the growth of the Ku Klux Klan and associates it with the

political, economic, and social instability of the Reconstruction Era. Because of lost

“property, prosperity, and power,” the “social club” developed into a destructive

organization that fostered an environment that only furthered the anger of Southern


Britton, B. (2019). What we know: How the New Zealand terror attack unfolded. CNN.

Retrieved from

Recently, there was a terrorist attack on two local mosques in New Zealand, leaving 50

people wounded and at least 50 dead. This resource identifies the suspect of the crime

and found that the suspected shooter had a manifesto in which he an anti-immigrant and

anti-Muslim ideas. It also provides a detailed account as to what had happened on March

15th, 2019 with drawn out tracking maps to help the readers understand the timeline of

events. The attack was a two-part operation as the article explained, going into detail

about how the shooter went about reaching two locations and killing innocent civilians.

Although it doesn’t discuss the reasoning, aside from have anti-immigrant/Muslim

sentiments, behind the terrorist’s actions, this resource is helpful because it identifies a

step by step account said attack and goes further into the Prime Minister’s decision to

impose further gun control in response to the attack.

Dando, C. (2017). What science can reveal about the psychological profiles of terrorists. The

Conversation. Retrieved from


In his article, Dando discusses the approaches taken and criticized by psychologists in

profiling terrorists. The basis of this article is split into research of a study done on

Colombian paramilitaries imprisoned for their terrorist acts as well as the psychology of

radicalization. This resource thoroughly looks into the study of the paramilitaries, which

found that the biggest difference between non criminals and criminals was the level of

moral cognition. It also takes a controversial approach to the mindset of terrorists, that

being the role of mental illness and cognitive impairments. While the article lacks depth

in its analysis, it does provide baseline information on different factors that influence

those recruited to work in terrorist organizations. Nonetheless, the article does stress the
importance for further study in the “quest for significance” that radicalized people tend to

search for in order to better understand the social issues that impact terrorism. This source

is helpful in that it explains the various factors and results of a study, including a

multitude of social cognitive tests, which need to be acknowledged in order to fully

understand this topic.

DeAngelis, T. (2009). Understanding terrorism. American Psychological Association, 40(10), 60.

Retrieved from

This resource discusses the various catalysts for terrorist actions that are not directly

associated with religion and/or political motives. The article points out factors such as

alienation, lack of identity, and need for psychological rewards as characteristics of those

who tend to be recruited and radicalized. Not only does this source consider past

legislation in the United States that address terrorism, but it also accounts for the studies

done by John Horgan, director of Penn State International Center for the Study of

Terrorism, and Tom Pyszczynski, a well-known psychologist. Both studies found that

terrorists often have a subconscious fear of death that they cling to when they find

themselves supporting violence against an out-group. There are trends to be

acknowledged within terrorists whether they are from the Middle East, Afghanistan, or

even the United States: when someone’s personal success is lower, he or she requires a

greater need for security. This article also brings valuable ideas to consider for research

including the role of Western influence on terrorism.

Fazlinaiem, G. & Miszak, N. (2012). Mullah Omar Wants You! Taliban Mobilization Strategies

or Motivations for Joining the Insurgency. Middle East Institute. Retrieved from https://

While people are quick to reason that the motivations behind terrorism are linked to

ideology and lack of education, this resource provides insight on the influence of

political, economic, and social factors. It details two case studies explaining how

reasoning differs across provinces and districts. Although the Taliban had fallen in 2001

from Tirin Kot, Urozgan, leadership conflicts resulting in the systematic marginalization

and torture of certain tribes has lead those tribes to rejoin the Taliban insurgency. In

Chak, Maidan Wardak, the involvement with the Taliban stems from a liberation struggle

against an Afghan government corrupted by American influence. Both case studies offer

insight into how Islamist political activism has attracted a variety of people to join the

movement. This article is beneficial in that it helps to understand the importance of local

history and the mix of political and social factors that led and still lead to the rise of the

Taliban movement.

Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist and Violent Extremist Groups: The

Role of the Justice System. (2017). United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. Retrieved




The UNODC launched a Handbook on Children Recruited and Exploited by Terrorist

Groups because the reality of the situation is that children have become the targets of

recruitment programs. This resources covers a vast multitude of topics ranging from

strategies to prevent recruitment, treatment of exploited children in the justice system,

and the actual process through which children go through for rehabilitation and
reintegration into de-radicalized environments. This resource goes through a very in

depth analysis of why and how children are recruited through a variety of processes for a

variety of reasons. It offers new insight specifically on the exploitation of girls, but also

includes the effectiveness of counter terrorism practices. This source is extremely helpful

in understanding the efforts being made to prevent child recruitment and to provide

justice for wronged children.

Jabbour, N. (n.d). 10 Reasons Muslims are Eager to Join ISIS. Zwemer Center for Muslim

Studies. Retrieved from

After a Muslim woman in was arrested after being accused of trying to join ISIS, doubts

raised over why anyone would want to join such an extremist group in the first place. In

this article, Dr. Nabeel Jabbour discusses a multitude of reasons and explanations as to

why Muslims are inclined to join terrorist organizations. Before it uncovers those

reasons, though, the article gives a brief introduction on how ISIS formed, its transition

into ISIL, and how their vision has expanded. This article gives more insight on how

western and American influence has been a major motivator and contributor to the

expansion of terrorism. This resource is also helpful in that it gives a brief history of how

the Sunni-Shiite divide has led to an abuse of power has resulted in Sunni majorities

wanted to be ruled by ISIL rather than abusive Shiites.

Smithsonian Channel. (2018, January 16). The Heinous 1961 KKK Attack on the Freedom

Riders. [YouTube Video]. Retrieved from


This source was presented in the form of a video by the Smithsonian Channel and

outlined the basic information surrounding the horrific attack on the Freedom Riders. The
video takes an interesting approach in that it classifies the KKK as an extremist group.

Although the video is quite short and provides very baseline information, the jarring

images that it displays significantly contribute to its impact. This resource will be helpful

with more than providing information about the KKK, but also making viewers aware of

the torment the KKK imposed on those who fought for equality.

Stern, J. (2016). Lessons from Terrorists. BU Today. Retrieved from


Author Jessica Stern has studied the causes and consequences of violence for the past

twenty years. Realizing that the best and most efficient way to understand the thought

process behind terrorism was to talk to the perpetrators themselves, she began to

interview a series of inmates. It was found that often times, the youth were driven by the

adrenaline rush and by the way it was romanticized. There is no single profile of a

terrorist; they can be driven by fear, love, hate, idealism, trauma, and a multitude of other

factors. Lastly, Stern also analyzes the efficiency of de-radicalization programs around

the world. This resource opens up a new perspective in that it considers the perspective of

the terrorists themselves. Terrorists are often victims of injustice; however, that doesn’t

morally justify their violence. While this article studies the consequences of joining an

extremist group, it also understands that the grievances of those involved in these groups

are based on real “pain and injustice,” which is significant when trying to comprehend

the principles of terrorism.