acts of terrorism

forensic science, radicalization, social psychology, social networks, terrorism, intelligence gathering

The radicalization of young men and women by terrorist

organizations has become an overwhelming problem in the world

(1

4). Recently, Mohammed Merah and the Kouachi Brothers in

France and Mehdi Nemmouche in Belgium appear to have been

motivated by a complex mix of politics and faith, and their com-

munications illustrate the tactics used to try to recruit other young

Europeans and Americans to their cause (1

4). Recently, two 21-

year-old men from Birmingham, England were charged with trav-

eling to Syria to carry out acts of terrorism. Even more recently,

in January of 2014, two 15-year-old boys from France left Tou-

louse to join the fighting in Syria. The possibility of French citi-

zens returning from Syria as hardened jihadists is the

biggest

threat that the country faces in the coming years,

said Manuel

Valls, the interior minister (3

5). He added that France and Eur-

ope risk being

overwhelmed

by the phenomenon. Mr. Valls

estimated that 700 French nationals have either travelled to Syria,

have travelled to Syria and returned to France, or are currently en

route. Some 21 French nationals have been killed. Shiraz Maher,

a senior research fellow at the International Centre for the Study

of Radicalization at King

s College London, estimated recently

that up to 50 British fighters have already returned home (2

5).

A few months ago, Richard Walton, the head of Scotland Yard

s

counter-terrorism command, said there were already indications

that Britons were returning from Syria with orders to carry out

attacks, with the Metropolitan Police carrying out a

huge num-

ber of operations

to protect the public (2

5).

As introduced in the above examples, this study deals with

the radicalization process in terrorist activities. In fact, in light of

these facts, and in order to optimally counter terrorists, it is

imperative to have a clear understanding of the psychology

underlying their actions. In recent years, research efforts have

investigated radicalization, de-radicalization, and disengagement