Courage in Dark Places: Reflections on Terrorist Psychology

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This article presents several arguments concerning the psychology of terrorists. In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, controversy erupted when some commentators argued that the Al Qaeda hijackers displayed courage in their actions. The comments provoked fierce and overwhelming criticism. It examines the elements to judging whether an individual is displaying courage. It also presents statements given by several terrorists regarding their feelings before terrorism attacks. Moreover, it provides an analysis of why people become involved in terrorism.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-198
Number of pages23
JournalSocial Research: An International Quarterly
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • terrorism
  • terrorists
  • terrorist psychology
  • courage

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