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Defining Religious Terrorism: A Causal and Anthological Profile

IdeologiesTerms and Definitions

Studies in Conflict and TerrorismJournal abstract

This research is geared toward theory building by alleviating some of the lacunae in three areas of study. First, it redefines what terrorism is by refocusing the definition away from politics and the mens rea of terror to its criminal actus reus. In this endeavor, it proposes a unifying definition that is viable for global assessment and under standing, while being conducive to international military and law enforcement cooperation. The definition is proposed to accommodate the international laws of reciprocity, community, and political framework, without compromising terrorism's criminal liabilities. Second, it defines what a religious terrorist is by using a convergence of psychometric measures from 356 suicide-bombers, taped self-immolations of 15 terrorists and 918 zealots, and triangulated anthologies. Among the outcomes of this mixed-method design is an empowering 32-trait profile of a religious terrorist that is ethno-religious specific and user friendly. Third, it introduces the concept of International Islamization Terrorism (IIT) and calls on future research to assess the propensity of IIT to global calamity, and the viability of a universal religious terrorist profile.

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