by Col. (Ret.) Zafer Mourad
Everyone knows that terrorism is an act of violence against humanity, targeting a group of people, to achieve political goals, (and here we emphasize the expression of political goals), and everyone knows that terrorist methods develop with the development of science and technology, while the motives remain the same.
Through my experience with terrorism in Lebanon, my involvement in military operations against it, my meeting with several terrorists and interrogating them after their arrest, and from my analysis of the social and cultural environment of terrorist elements, it became clear to me that, at the level of the lower and middle cadres of terrorist groups, most perpetrators who are on the field, the ones who represent the violent force of terrorism, are not fueled by political motives, rather they are motivated by a need to belong, a private psychological factor, rather than a general political one, and these motives are summarized as follows:
1- Providing a salary or allowances sufficient for the physiological needs.
2- Seeking belonging and safety needs, by joining a strong group in a vague and unsafe environment.
3- Self-esteem and self actualization ( respect, status, and finding a role and position in society in to counter marginalization).
4- Physical and moral revenge on the opponents, who are determined by their leader.
5- Playing a courageous role in the group and seeking heroic personality during fighting and accepting high risks.
6- Disobeying the rules and holding the supposed opponent responsible for all social calamities.
7- The search for immediate and eternal pleasure (the concept of paradise).
8- Launching internal violence to feel empowered and proactive against opponents.
All of these are mostly psychological motives, that have no relations to the political goals that the major terrorist leaders are working on.
Terrorist leaders are exploiting the psychological needs of fighters and low level leaders, and providing them with a way to achieve these needs within a framework that serves their political goals, and this brings two important points to light, the first shows that it is worthwhile to combat terrorism by dealing with the psychological needs of potential youths to be terrorists of the future, and the second point is that these terrorist groups operating on the field do not really know who is the one who issues orders and directs their violent operations and actions, and there is a very high probability that they are an instrument in the hands of International governments or intelligence services, that use them to create certain security conditions in a region, and the best evidence for this is that the ISIL, which is supposed to work to establish its alleged Islamic state, is doing everything but working to create the appropriate conditions for the establishment of this state, as it carries out criminal acts and horrific killings and slaughtering, as well as forbidden and prohibited trade, kidnapping and rape of women. We cannot understand how these actions could prepare for the establishment of an Islamic state governed by the human and moral principles of Islam. The discussed key elements are the main pillars in fighting terrorism worldwide.