Essay, 3 pages (650 words)

International terrorism

Mental of Terrorism Detainees Mental of Terrorism Detainees Blumenfeld s Muslims who commit murder on religious grounds often use mental incompetence and plead of insanity as a way of escaping punishment by the law. Many forensic psychiatrists, judges and jurors are easily swayed to believe the claim that it is not for religious reasons that there are homegrown jihad movements operating in North America and Europe, but rather, mental incapacity of members who take up membership of such movements. According to Blumenfeld (2012), such views stem from prosecutors’ unwillingness to connect acts of violence from jihadist organization with expression of faith.
There is no simple reason why the people choose to join a jihad movement. According to Venhaus (2010), Al-Qaeda preys on the potential recruit’s self-definition dilemma to turn them into violent individuals. Nevertheless, the motivation to join the group is always specific to that individual since each one has to have something he seeks to fulfill in life. There are those that seek revenge and believe that jihad is a way out for their frustrations in life. Those that are looking for status enlist into the movement as a means for recognition. There are still some individuals who join Al-Qaeda as a way of searching for their identity. Furthermore, some see enlisting as an adventurous endeavor that can be thrilling to them. These factors added to the hard-line stance of non-compromising ideologies of the terror group (Aaron, 2008) make the reasons youth join jihadist movements a complex one.
Venhaus (2010) gives five misconceptions that people have concerning Al-Qaeda recruits, the first mistaken belief that Venhaus dispels is that the recruits are crazy. The author argues that such recruits are in control of their mental faculties although anyone who is not familiar with the workings of such movements would think otherwise. This school of thought concurs with Sageman (2008) assertion that persons with antisocial disorders cannot to be relied on and are prone to compromising the security of an underground group like al-Qaeda. Such individual cannot be tolerated in the organization and are throw out or some choose to leave on their own violation when they realize that the spirit of suicide terrorism is a readiness one has to have to give up for the greater good. Further, hardship it takes to trace information and training added to the organizational demand for secrecy as applied to its vetting would not accommodate a member with unstable mind.
In her article, Curcios (2005) notes actual reasons the recruits choose to enlist into terror organizations as lack of employment, failure in their business investments, improper higher education, and disagreements with their respective families, substance abuse and an impending jail sentence. These factors might be reasons enough for some of the youth to enlist into terrorism organizations as they view that as the only way for them to escape the state of affairs as they were in their homes.
The above views have demonstrated how not to take the assertion by detainees at Guantanamo bay that they are not Jihadists but people who are disaffected and confused. To do so would be to provide a simplistic view to an issue that that is complex. Although it is not appropriate to condemn all the detainees as extremists who will not waste any available minute to hurt the western society, the detainees should also be ready to take full responsibility for their actions. Thus, mental disorientation should not be blamed for the act of terrorism that precedes loss of life.

Aaron, D. (2008). In their own words: Voices of Jihad: Compilation and commentary. Santa Monica, CA: RAND.
Blumenfeld, T. (2012). Are Jihadists crazy? Middle East Quarterly, 19(2), 3-13.
Curcios, S. (2005). Generational differences in waging Jihad. Military Review, 85(4) 84-88.
Sageman, M. (2008). Leaderless Jihad. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Venhaus, M. (2010). Why youth join al-Qaeda. The United States Institute of Peace.


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