What terrorism means to me

-Understanding level-

The idea of terrorist and terrorism underlies many myths, one of the most common is certainly that terrorists are fanatical freaks, psychopaths completely immune to the suffering of their victims and always defending their cause in a cruel way. Thus, extremist behavior of any kind, invites extreme opinions in what concerns the individual. Consequently, it became dangerously easy for society to label the terrorists as insane fanatics.

Generally speaking, the factors that lead a person to become a terrorist are unclear by now, because this act depends from person to person. No one is born being a terrorist. The combined impact of several factors is the one who pushes an individual to become such a person, and these factors will vary by culture, social context, terrorist group and the implication of the individual. Becoming terrorist is for most people a process. There is not usually something that happens quickly or easily. It is like being recruited for an ONG, but the difference is the level of desire which in the terrorist’s case is much more accentuated.

Often there is a consensus within the communities that to become a terrorist is not uncommon and often this is supported and encouraged. Before an individual to be prepared to be part of a terrorist group, he or she must first belong to that section of society which supports and shares the goals, sufferings and ambitions of the terrorist group. Terrorist groups with nationalistic/ separatism purposes tend to rely on a relatively large social group. For some of the young people in these communities joining a terrorist group is equivalent to their enrollment in the army for more extensive and more peaceful society, this being the main reason why inside a terrorist group are activating young people, aged between 15-25.

An important point to understand the psychology of those who become terrorists is to understand the psychology of revenge. It is widely recognized that one of the strongest motivations to become a terrorist is revenge. Unfortunately, the bad opinions appeared only because the terrorists are making bad and cruel things, don’t think about their life while hurting innocent victims, but no one takes into consideration why those people feel the need to act in such a way, to hurt, make victims after victims.

Certainly, people have a very pronounced sense of justice, revenge is taking as the dark side of it and not just people feel so. The animals are acting alike, too. An important element of desire for revenge is surprising acceptance of individuals to sacrifice and suffer just to get revenge.

Yet why are people prepared to sacrifice so much? What goals are achieved by such sacrifices? Vengeance and turning violent are both linked to damaged self-esteem of the individual and his attempt to prevent future injustice. I don’t know if I should be afraid or not of a terrorist person, but I feel they need to be comprehended, they need to have the right to express themselves freely and also need people with large level of understanding what they ask for, what they need in order to not feeling all the time the desire to revenge, to act like wild and undomesticated humans. This includes the participation of ordinary people, but the big involvement comes from the authorities, state leaders, governments, organizations etc.


Elena Ursu


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