Raymond H. Hamden
Terrorism can be defined as the use or threatened use of violence for political purposes to extort, intimidate, or coerce others into modifying their behavior. It is perpetrated by private individuals or small groups from the hegemonic strata against members of negative reference groups and enjoys the tacit approval if not the active participation of members of the security forces.
A terrorist is an individual who carries out or threatens to carry out acts of terror, for hire or not for hire. The act of harming or killing others, who are direct enemies or innocent victims, may be for monetary gain, gain of group principle, gain of personal principle, or any combination of these.
The literature on the specific types of terrorists featured in this chapter is sparse. Much of the information herein is based on the author’s research and consultations while a visiting fellow (1986) at the Center for International Development and Conflict Management, University of Maryland–College Park, and in the years since. Clinical and forensic interventions were managed through the Human Relations Institute and Clinics, a Washington, D.C., psychology practice.
This information may be valuable for negotiators—knowing the type of terrorist with whom one is dealing can aid in the process. Various professionals in the world of forensics and political psychology may also find these matters of use—academically, practically, or both.