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Psychology of Terrorism: Osama bin Laden as a Freedom Fighter

"Terrorists have been divided into two kinds - professional or political. Professional terrorists have a deep-seated hatred of a particular society as it is. This tendency begins in childhood when there is a feeling of rejection, often by parents. The political or religious terrorist seeks to change society based on a hatred for particular religion or political system. Osama bin Laden falls into the second category. He views himself, not as being a terrorist, but as being a 'freedom fighter'and 'champion of the underprivileged poor'", the British psychologist Prof. Dr. Ludwig Lowenstein analyses.

"Political terrorists rationalise their violent and destructive behaviour by considering themselves  'idealists' and benefactors of humanity. This means, however tragic consequences with no compassion being shown for their victims. They have no conscience about the havoc they create among the innocents they kill and maim. Here they resemble the typical psychopath. They have the knack of rationalising their actions or justifying them in the name of their personally considered 'worthy cause'. This is typified by the Bin Laden network which destroyed the World Trade Centre in New York.

In the case of Bin Laden we have a charismatic figure with considerable wealth and thereby influence to counteract poverty in Afghanistan, and this has provided him with fertile grounds to seek gratification of his own personal ambition e.g. to dominate through his own fundamentalist Muslim cause and to gain the total support for his views from Muslims, and by threat, to change the views of others in the world to live as he wills them to..."




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