Misconceptions of Terrorist Motivations

As you learned this week, groups typically labeled as terrorist have a heterogeneous nature. This nature is often overlooked because of the emotional connotations from the label of terrorism. When evaluating groups that use terrorist tactics, it is necessary to look beyond surface similarities and identify these heterogeneous characteristics. This week, utilize any group currently identified as terrorists, and answer the following:

Primary Task Response: Within the Discussion Board area, write 400 words that respond to the following questions with your thoughts, ideas, and comments. This will be the foundation for future discussions by your classmates. Be substantive and clear, and use examples to reinforce your ideas:

  • What characteristics, if any, do members of the group share?
    • Besides race or ethnicity, what significant misconceptions do you think are made regarding the characteristics of terrorist groups?
  • Why do you think those misconceptions exist? Explain.
    • These characteristics are often shallow. Identify what heterogeneous characteristics exist within the group.
    • Are these characteristics significant to the goals and motivations of the terrorist group? Why or why not?
  • How can heterogeneous characteristics be exploited to weaken a group’s infrastructure?