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Terrorists: Criminals or Crusaders?

In Combs’ “Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century,” Chapter 4 “Criminals or Crusaders?” describes and attempts to unravel the thinking that drives terrorists to act the way they do. The chapter begins by classifying three categories of persons who commit terrorism, according to Fredrick Hacker. According to him, terrorists can be crazies, crusaders, or criminals. Hacker identifies crazies as individuals who are emotionally disturbed and who indulge in terrorism for what is only known to them.

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As criminals, terrorists commit acts of terrorism for personal gain. Such terrorists are fully aware of what they are doing and will accept negotiation in exchange for profit and/or passage. Crusaders are a type of terrorists who do not go after material gain but prestige and power for a collective cause. Crusaders often base their terrorist acts on the belief that they are serving a higher authority. This type of terrorism is most common currently is almost always driven by religion or politics.

According to hackers, to effectively deal with terrorism one needs to understand them. He identifies criminals as the easiest to negotiate with as compared to crusaders who are much more committed to their cause. The author proposes negotiations to be done with leaders of a terrorist rather than a whole group due to mob mentality.

As described by Edgar O’Ballance, a successful terrorist is one who is dedicated, brave, without pity or remorse, fairly intelligent and sophisticated, and be reasonably well educated and with good general knowledge.

The author describes dedication as the most important aspect of modern terrorism and cites terrorist groupings such as the Palestinian and the Hamas.

The author identifies the struggle for a common cause as a significant motivating factor for terrorism. The author completes the chapter by looking at the changing trends in modern terrorism, which now has less educated younger men and increased women’s involvement.

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StudyCorgi. (2021) 'Terrorists: Criminals or Crusaders'. 3 February.

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