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Security Issues

The spiritual and religious bases for suicidal terrorism: the ideology of “Global Jihad” as a psychological motivation for the suicide terrorism by Islamic radicals.

Sosnin Vyacheslav Aleksandrovich

PhD in Psychology

Senior Scientific Researcher, Associate Professor, Department of Economic and Organization Psychology of the Institute of Psychology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

Russia, 129366, Moskva, ul. Yaroslavskaya, d.13.




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The article is devoted to the spiritual and religious bases for the suicidal terrorism and the ideology of Global Jihad as a psychological motivation of suicide terrorism by the Islamic radicals. The author provides conceptual positions on the correlations between the concept of terrorism in general and suicide terrorism in particular.  He analyzes the topical issues of Fundamentalism and its revival in the Islamic world in the current geo-political conditions. He evaluates ideological and psychological bases of the views on suicidal terrorism as martyrdom  by the ideologists of Al-Qaeda (Ben- Laden, Al-Zavahiri). He also analyzes the psychology of motivation of suicide terrorists from the canonical Koran positions. He refers to the ways of fighting terrorism in the current conditions. The main goal of this article is to explain to the scientists specific features of spiritual and religious motivations of followers and performers of terrorism and to indirectly show that the problem of fighting terrorism in the current geo-political situation is not  limited to "bombs and rackets" issue, or holding military and anti-terrorism actions (while military and intelligence elements of this fight are important).  It is a fight in the sphere of morals and ideology, and it is a long-term one at that. It might take decades. And the information resistance should include psychological operations among the other technologies.

Keywords: psychology, jihad, terrorism, spiritual and religious motivation, ideology of Al-Qaeda, martyrdom, the Koran, radicalism, fundamentalism, psychological operations
This article written in Russian. You can find full text of article in Russian here .

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