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Pressures to Commit Acts of Violence

Pressures to Commit Acts of Violence - Pressures to Commit...

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Pressures to Commit Acts of Violence Post (1990:35) argues that “individuals become terrorists in order to join terrorist groups and commit acts of terrorism.” Joining a terrorist group gives them a sense of “revolutionary heroism” and self-importance that they previously lacked as individuals. Consequently, a leader who is action-oriented is likely to have a stronger position within the group than one who advocates prudence and moderation. Thomas Strentz (1981:89) has pointed out that terrorist groups that operate against democracies often have a field commander who he calls an “opportunist,” that is, an activist, usually a male, whose criminal activity predates his political involvement. Strentz applies the psychological classification of the antisocial personality, also known as a sociopath or psychopath, to the life-style of this type of action-oriented individual. His examples of this personality type include Andreas Baader and Hans Joachim Klein of the Baader-Meinhof Gang and Akira Nihei of the JRA. Although the opportunist is not mentally ill, Strentz
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