Psychology of Terrorism

 This week we will add to that dialog by first viewing a PBS video entitled “Son of Al Qaeda”, about a young Canadian who grew up with bin Laden’s children and was groomed to become a terrorist but became instead a CIA informant, and then dialoguing based on the questions below. While last week’s discussion was about the making of a terrorist, this week’s can be thought of as about the un-making of one. To view the video go to:

On the website above you will find links for watching the video. If your bandwidth or restrictions imposed by a deployment site doesn’t allow you video viewing capabilities, the same page has a link labeled “Interviews” and, while not as engaging as a visual presentation, it contains the story in text.

How do we un-make terrorists? Should we try? They all can’t be converted to informants. For the sake of this discussion, assume that some can re-enter society no longer as threats. Not everyone who becomes a terrorist has to remain one. Given that reality, what then shall we do to best transform them into non-perpetrators of terror? What should we look for in determining which terrorist might be a good candidate for un-making?


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