Psychology of Terrorism
Terrorism is a true plague of modern world. There have always been people willing to sacrifice themselves for this or that cause, but they have never been as dangerous as they are now. Medieval Hashishins were possibly not afraid of death, but they didn’t have an opportunity to kill dozens of people by using just one suicide bomber.
Modern technology not only brings benefit to the majority of people, but also gives the groups, which are too weak or not numerous enough to back up the causes they believe in by more conventional methods, an opportunity to dictate their will to the groups that are more numerous, more powerful and generally better off.
Terrorism is the weapon of the weak, of the ones who can neither persuade their opponents, nor oppose them with direct force. That is why they resort to spreading general terror not even among their enemies, but among the civilians. Their opponents are generally more democratic regimes that rely on support of their citizens and are dependent on the public opinion. The goal of terrorism is to make it for an average person more desirable to be safe than to support a cause that does not directly affect him.
And, in fact, terrorism is only effective because it is terrifying. The real possibility to die of terrorist act even in our turbulent times is much less than to be killed in a car accident, yet it provokes much more fear from an average person.
And that is why effective war on terror is hardly possible. Being the weapon of the weak, there always will be other weak ones who will resort to it.