The Making of a Terrorist

by James J. F. Forest, ed.


Investigates not only how and why an individual becomes a terrorist, but where, in which camps and through which methods, with great attention to the differences and similarities among a wide variety of active terrorist groups.

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November 2005


Pages 1280
Volumes 3
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Security Studies/Terrorism
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Global terrorism has become a frightening reality. From New York City and Washington, D.C., to Bali, Moscow, and Madrid, ordinary citizens throughout the civilized world live with increasing fear of a deadly attack from unknown individuals, for reasons many of us cannot fathom. National and international security forces are on constant alert, desperate to prevent the next catastrophe, and yet many observers agree that our military and intelligence services are spread too thin and face insurmountable hurdles in the global war on terrorism. The situation calls for greater engagement with the public, as the necessary eyes and ears of the global anti-terrorism coalition. However, to be effective the public must be equipped with the knowledge of how, why, and where an individual becomes a terrorist. This is the primary goal of this set, which seeks to answer one central question: What do we currently know about the transformation through which an individual becomes a terrorist?

Overall, we have learned that the transformation through which an individual becomes a terrorist involves a variety of complex and intertwined issues. A single contributing factor—such as personal religious conviction, widespread poverty, or an oppressive government—may not necessarily lead to the formation of terrorist organizations. However, the current body of research on terrorism suggests that a combination of factors will, in most cases, result in some form of terrorism. This combination differs widely by region, and at minimum involves motivations, opportunities, contexts, processes, personal disposition, and preparation. Volume I deals with recruitment means and methods, and includes discussions of psychological, social, ideological, and religious dimensions of recruitment. Volume II addresses the training of terrorists, including teaching tools and training manuals, and it includes fascinating case studies from Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Aum Shinrikyo, Christian militias, and other groups. Volume III is devoted to root causes, including their political, religious, and socioeconomic dimensions. Appendices to these volumes feature profiles of terrorist organizations, samples of terrorist training manuals, and recommended resources for the study of terrorism.

Series Description

Praeger Security International

As the world gets "smaller" through technology and globalization, the security risks we face grow and multiply.

International security in the 21st century is not a topic that can be adequately addressed in nightly news soundbites or online articles intended to be relevant for 24 hours or less. Comprehending these complex issues requires insight from foreign policy specialists, diplomats, military officials, peace scholars, historians, and security experts—participants and observers on all sides of each conflict. This series provides the tools for understanding security issues in our uncertain, unstable world.

Written by subject experts and well-known researchers, the books in the Praeger Security International series give readers access to carefully considered and highly informed viewpoints on the critical security issues that threaten to destabilize our world. With titles authored by diplomats, first responders, economists, journalists, civil servants, military leaders and combatants, legal experts, psychologists, and other knowledgeable specialists, these books offer in-depth reflections, thorough analysis, and international perspectives that are unavailable in mass media. These titles represent an invaluable resource for students and researchers as well as anyone who seeks a deeper understanding of the complex issues that affect our lives and future.


  • Provides reliable, comprehensive information on all matters relating to security that is ideal for students, teachers, researchers, and professionals
  • Offers insightful commentaries written by a diverse group of scholars and experts who provide interdisciplinary treatments of newsworthy events and important historical occurrences
Table of Contents

VOLUME I: RECRUITMENTPrefaceAcknowledgmentsIntroduction to Volume IPART I: PLACES AND MEANS OF TERRORIST RECRUITMENTInnovative Recruitment and Indoctrination Tactics by Extremists: Video Games, Hip Hop, and the World Wide WebPrisons as Terrorist Breeding GroundsCommunication and Recruitment of TerroristsTerrorist Dot Com: Using the Internet for Terrorist Recruitment and MobilizationEducation and Radicalization: Jemaah Islamiyah Recruitment in Southeast AsiaRecruitment for Rebellion and Terrorism in the PhilippinesPART II: SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL DIMENSIONSThe New Children of TerrorHamas Social Welfare: In the Service of TerrorTerrorism, Gender and Ideology: A Case Study of Women who Join the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC)The Making of Suicide Bombers: A Comparative PerspectiveUnresolved Trauma and the Thirst for Revenge: The Retributional TerroristPART III: IDEOLOGICAL DIMENSIONSPolitical and Revolutionary IdeologiesThe Role of Religious Ideology in Terrorist RecruitmentChristian Fundamentalism and Militia Movements in the United StatesPolitical Islam: Violence and the Wahhabi ConnectionJihad Doctrine and Radical IslamZionism and the Pursuit of West Bank SettlementsAppendix A: Profiles of Terrorist OrganizationsAppendix B: Al Qaeda Declarations of WarBibliographyIndexAbout the ContributorsVOLUME II: TRAININGIntroduction to Volume IIPART I: TEACHING TOOLS AND DEVELOPMENTAL EXPERIENCESWhen Hatred is Bred in the Bone: The Socio-Cultural Underpinnings of Terrorist PsychologyTraining for Terrorism through Selective Moral DisengagementCults, Charismatic Groups and Social Systems: Understanding the Behavior of Terrorist RecruitsThe Psychological Power of Charismatic Leaders in Cults and Terrorist OrganizationsTeaching Terrorism: Dimensions of Information and TechnologyMediated Terrorism: Teaching Terror through Propaganda and PublicityPART II: CASE STUDIES OF TERRORIST LEARNINGTraining for Urban Resistance: The Case of the Provisional Irish Republican ArmyTeaching New Terrorist Recruits: A Review of Training Manuals from the Uzbekistan MujahideenLearning to Die: Suicide Terrorism in the 21st CenturyThe Al Qaeda Training Camps of Afghanistan and BeyondThe Bosnian Mujahideen: Origins, Training and ImplicationsIndoctrination Processes Within Jemaah IslamiyahChristian Militia Training: Arming the Troops with Scripture, the Law and a Good GunThe Hizballah Training Camps of LebanonThe Human Factor in Insurgency: Recruitment and Training in the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)The Making of Aum Shinrikyos Chemical Weapons ProgramTerrorist Training Centers Around the World: A Brief ReviewAppendix: Examples of Training Manuals for Terrorism and Guerilla WarfareBibliographyIndexAbout the ContributorsVOLUME III: ROOT CAUSESIntroduction to Volume IIIPART I: POLITICAL DIMENSIONSInstability and Opportunity: The Origins of Terrorism in Weak and Failed StatesSuperpower Foreign Policies: A Source for Global ResentmentA Failure to Communicate: American Public Diplomacy in the Islamic WorldThe Complex Relationship between Global Terrorism and U.S. Support for IsraelPolitical Repression and Violent Rebellion in the Muslim WorldRejection of Political Institutions by Right Wing Extremists in the United StatesPART II: RELIGIOUS AND SOCIOECONOMIC DIMENSIONSReligious Sources of ViolenceTerrorism and DoomsdayFueling The Fires: The Oil Factor in Middle Eastern TerrorismSocioeconomic and Demographic Roots of TerrorismThe Intersection of Terrorism and the Drug TradeTerrorism and Export Economies: The Dark Side of Free TradePART III: ALTERNATIVE VIEWS ON ROOT CAUSES OF TERRORISMTerrorism, Interdependence and DemocracyHuman Security and Good Governance: A Living Systems Approach to Understanding and Combating TerrorismTerrorism and the State: The Logic of Killing CiviliansDigging Deep: Environment and Geography as Root Influences for TerrorismDealing with the Roots of TerrorAppendix: Recommended Resources for the Study of TerrorismBibliographyIndexAbout the Contributors



"In this three-volume set, Forest brings together articles by over 50 international experts that address three areas: Recruitment (Volume 1), Training (Volume 2), and Root Causes (Volume 3). The word terrorism comes from the Latin terrere (to cause to tremble), explains Forest, and although there is no consensus on the modern definition of terrorism, it is commonly known as acts of politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents. With a special emphasis on the psychological, social, ideological, and religious aspects of terrorism recruitment....[t]his is a wise investment."Library Journal

"[A] useful and practical reference for commanders, planners, and analysts. As its title suggests, the three volume set aims to provide an understanding of terrorist phenomena, focusing on the actual mechanics of terrorism....What emerges from these studies is a collage of terrorist practices as they are, and not a neat, coherent, and artificial portrait of causes and cures for terrorism. The Making of a Terrorist, therefore provides essential and accessible background reading for the military practitioner in the War on Terrorism....The Making of a Terrorist provides practitioners with increments of understanding on which they can base a variety of solutions to a myriad of threats. Based on that understanding, we can then begin to formulate a response. The Making of a Terrorist is not the answer, but it helps to frame the question."Parameters

"The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training, and Root Causes surpasses all other lighter treatments on the topic, providing the depth which makes it highly recommendable to security collections, military libraries, and more. Three weighty volumes thoroughly cover the topic....This set is an invaluable 'must' for any seeking more depth and detail than the usual casual reviews of problems and theories."Midwest Book Review's California BookWatch

"The library of worthwhile works on terrorism is about to grow exponentially with the publication of a massive three-volume compendium, The Making of a Terrorist, edited by James J. F. Forest, director of terrorism studies at the U.S. Military Academy.
The three volumes examine, respectively, recruitment, training, and root causes. Each volume contains useful and original work by journalists, government officials, and academics. But the third book, dealing with root causes, is by far the most valuable....Who are they? Does it matter who they are, or is it enough to know what they do? What drives them? We don't seem any closer to the answers than we were on September 10, 2001, but at least now, with the help of work such as that represented in The Making of a Terrorist, we're beginning to ask the questions."Wilson Quarterly

"The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training, and Root Causes surpasses all other lighter treatments on the topic, providing the depth which makes it highly recommendable to security collections, military libraries, and more. Three weighty volumes thoroughly cover the topic....From myths and traditions to differences between how terrorist wars are made, history and theory blend. This set is an invaluable 'must' for any seeking more depth and detail than the usual casual reviews of problems and theories."California Bookwatch

Other Titles of Interest

Political Violence and Terrorism in Modern America cover imageThe 50 Worst Terrorist Attacks cover imageCounterterrorism cover image
Eco-Warriors, Nihilistic Terrorists, and the Environment cover imageThe Insurgency in Chechnya and the North Caucasus cover image

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