Journal Article

Suicide Bomber Pathways among Islamic Militants

Paul Gill

in Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice

Volume 2, issue 4, pages 412-422
Published in print January 2008 | ISSN: 1752-4512
Published online January 2008 | e-ISSN: 1752-4520 | DOI:
Suicide Bomber Pathways among Islamic Militants

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This paper highlights the contribution of both societal and smaller-group socialization processes to the trajectory of individuals who become suicide bombers. Using examples such as the 9/11 and 7/7 bombers, this pathway model proposes that certain socialization processes predispose audiences towards participating in violence. Experiencing a catalyst (which can take many forms) makes the motivation to join a terrorist organization salient. Pre-existing social or familial bonds facilitate the recruitment process. Finally, the internalization of relevant in-group norms sets the individual on his final path to becoming a suicide bomber. The chances of progression from one stage to the next reduce due to structural or personal constraints.

Journal Article.  5568 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Policing

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