Suicide Terrorism

Chapter

Abstract

This chapter provides an overview of academic research on suicide terrorism. Challenges regarding defining suicide terrorism are discussed, and trends and statistics regarding suicide terrorist attacks are outlined. These trends and statistics serve as basis for an historical analysis of the evolution of suicide terrorist networks. Organizational, religious, socio-economic, social, psychological, and motivational factors related to suicide terrorism are reviewed.

Keywords

Suicide terrorism Trends and statistics Martyrdom Terrorist networks Explanations 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors are indebted to Charlotte de Roon for her comments on a previous version of this chapter.

References

  1. Abrahms, M. (2006). Why terrorism does not work. International Security, 31(2), 42–78.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Acosta, B. (2016). Dying for survival: Why militant organizations continue to conduct suicide attacks. Journal of Peace Research, 53, 180–196.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Acosta, B., & Childs, S. J. (2013). Illuminating the global suicide-attack network. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 36(1), 49–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Atran, S. (2003). Genesis of suicide terrorism. Science, 299(5612), 1534–1539.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. Bacchi, U. (2014). France Launches New Sahel Counter-Terrorism Operation Barkhane. International Business Times. Retrieved from http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/france-launches-new-sahel-counter-terrorism-operation-barkhane-1456646.
  6. Baer, R. (2005). The cult of the suicide bomber, [DVD]. London: Many Rivers Films.Google Scholar
  7. Bélanger, J. J., Caouette, J., Sharvit, K., & Dugas, M. (2014). The psychology of martyrdom: Making the ultimate sacrifice in the name of a cause. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 107(3), 494–515.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Benmelech, E., & Berrebi, C. (2007). Human capital and the productivity of suicide bombers. The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 21(3), 223–238.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Benmelech, E., Berrebi, C., & Klor, E. F. (2012). Economic conditions and the quality of suicide terrorism. The Journal of Politics, 74(01), 113–128.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Bloom, M. (2005). Dying to kill: The allure of suicide terror. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Bloom, M. (2009). Chasing butterflies and rainbows: A critique of Kruglanski et al.’s “Fully committed: Suicide bombers’ Motivation and the quest for personal significance”. Political Psychology, 30(3), 387–395.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bloom, M. (2011). Bombshells: Women and terror. Gender Issues, 28(1–2), 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Bloom, M., & Horgan, J. (2008). Missing their mark: The IRA’s proxy bomb campaign. Social Research, 75(2), 579–614.Google Scholar
  14. CPOST. (2016). Chicago project on security & terrorism. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://cpost.uchicago.edu/.
  15. Crenshaw, M. (2007). Explaining suicide terrorism: A review essay. Security Studies, 16(1), 133–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Cronin, A. K. (2009). How terrorism ends: Understanding the decline and demise of terrorist campaigns. Princeton: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Dechesne, M. (2014). ‘Mumbai Style’: Exploration of a concept. In U. Kumar & M. K. Mandal (Eds.), Understanding suicide terrorism: Psychosocial dynamics (pp. 76–92). New Delhi: Sage Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Forest, J. J. (2007). Countering terrorism and insurgency in the 21st century: Lessons from the fight against terrorism (Vol. 3). Westport: Greenwood Publishing Group.Google Scholar
  19. Gambetta, D. (2005). Making sense of suicide missions. Oxford: Oxford University Press on Demand.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hafez, M. M. (2003). Why Muslims rebel: Repression and resistance in the Islamic world. Boulder, CO: Lynne Rienner Publishers.Google Scholar
  21. Hafez, M. M. (2006). Manufacturing human bombs: The making of Palestinian suicide bombers. Washington, DC: United States Institute of Peace.Google Scholar
  22. Hafez, M. M. (2007). Martyrdom mythology in Iraq: How jihadists frame suicide terrorism in videos and biographies. Terrorism and Political Violence, 19(1), 95–115.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hoffman, B. (2006). Inside terrorism. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  24. Hoffman, B., & McCormick, G. H. (2004). Terrorism, signaling, and suicide attack. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 27(4), 243–281.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Horgan, J. (2005). The psychology of terrorism. Oxon: Routledge.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Horowitz, M. C. (2015). The rise and spread of suicide bombing. Annual Review of Political Science, 18, 69–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Iannaccone, L. R. (2006). The market for martyrs. Interdisciplinary Journal of Research on Religion, 2.Google Scholar
  28. James, W. (1969). The varieties of religious experience: A study in human nature. New York: Doubleday.Google Scholar
  29. Jenkins, B. M. (1975). International terrorism: A new mode of conflict. In D. Carlton & C. Schaerf (Eds.), International terrorism and world security. London: Croom Helm.Google Scholar
  30. Juergensmeyer, M. (2005). Terror in the mind of god: The global rise of religious violence. Berkeley: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  31. Kalyvas, S., & Sánchez-Cuenca, I. (2005). Killing without dying: The absence of suicide missions. In D. Gambetta (Ed.), Making sense of suicide missions (pp. 209–232). Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Khosrokhavar, F. (2005). Suicide bombers: Allah’s new martyrs. London: Pluto Press.Google Scholar
  33. Krueger, A. B., & Malečková, J. (2003). Education, poverty and terrorism: Is there a causal connection? The Journal of Economic Perspectives, 17(4), 119–144.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Kruglanski, A. W., Bélanger, J. J., Gelfand, M., Gunaratna, R., Hettiarachchi, M., Reinares, F., … Sharvit, K. (2013). Terrorism—A (self) love story: Redirecting the significance quest can end violence. American Psychologist, 68(7), 559–575.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. Kruglanski, A. W., Chen, X., Dechesne, M., Fishman, S., & Orehek, E. (2009). Fully committed: Suicide bombers’ motivation and the quest for personal significance. Political Psychology, 30(3), 331–357.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Kruglanski, A. W., Gelfand, M. J., Bélanger, J. J., Sheveland, A., Hetiarachchi, M., & Gunaratna, R. (2014). The psychology of radicalization and deradicalization: How significance quest impacts violent extremism. Political Psychology, 35(S1), 69–93.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Kumar, U., & Mandal, M. K. (2014). Understanding suicide terrorism: Psychosocial dynamics. New Delhi: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Merari, A., Diamant, I., Bibi, A., Broshi, Y., & Zakin, G. (2009). Personality characteristics of “self martyrs”/“suicide bombers” and organizers of suicide attacks. Terrorism and Political Violence, 22(1), 87–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Moloney, E. (2003). A secret history of the IRA. New York: WW Norton & Company.Google Scholar
  40. Mukherjee, S., Kumar, U., & Mandal, M. K. (2014). Suicide terrorism: Delineating the construct. In U. Kumar & M. K. Mandal (Eds.), Understanding suicide terrorism: Psychosocial dynamics (pp. 3–18). New Delhi: SAGE Publications.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. NC-START. (2016). Global terrorism database. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from https://www.start.umd.edu/gtd/.
  42. Nisbett, R. E., & Wilson, T. D. (1977). Telling more than we can know: Verbal reports on mental processes. Psychological Review, 84(3), 231–259.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Pape, R. (2003). The strategic logic of suicide terrorism. American Political Science Review, 97(3), 343–361.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Pape, R. (2005). Dying to win: The strategic logic of suicide terrorism. New York: Random House.Google Scholar
  45. Pedahzur, A. (2006). Root causes of suicide terrorism: The globalization of martyrdom. Abingdon: Routledge.Google Scholar
  46. Post, J. (2005). When hatred is bred in the bone: Psycho-cultural foundations of contemporary terrorism. Political Psychology, 26(4), 615–636.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Post, J., Sprinzak, E., & Denny, L. (2003). The terrorists in their own words: Interviews with 35 incarcerated Middle Eastern terrorists∗∗ This research was conducted with the support of the Smith Richardson Foundation. Terrorism and Political Violence, 15(1), 171–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Pyszczynski, T., Solomon, S., & Greenberg, J. (2003). In the wake of 9/11: The psychology of terror. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. RAND. (2016). RAND database of worldwide terrorist incidents. Retrieved October 11, 2016, from http://www.rand.org/nsrd/projects/terrorism-incidents.html.
  50. Schmid, A. (1992). The response problem as a definition problem. Terrorism and Political Violence, 4(4), 7–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Schmid, A., & De Graaf, J. (1982). Violence as communication: Insurgent terrorism and the Western news media. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  52. Schmid, A., & Jongman, A. (1988). Political terrorism: A research guide to concepts, theories, databases and literature (1988th ed.). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.Google Scholar
  53. Speckhard, A., & Ahkmedova, K. (2006). The making of a martyr: Chechen suicide terrorism. Studies in Conflict & Terrorism, 29(5), 429–492.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. Stern, J. (2003). Terror in the name of God: Why religious militants kill. New York: Ecco.Google Scholar
  55. Victoroff, J., Adelman, J. R., & Matthews, M. (2012). Psychological factors associated with support for suicide bombing in the Muslim diaspora. Political Psychology, 33(6), 791–809.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  56. Wegner, D. M., & Wheatley, T. (1999). Apparent mental causation: Sources of the experience of will. American Psychologist, 54(7), 480.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. Weinberg, L., & Pedahzur, A. (2010). Suicide terrorism. Religion Compass, 4(4), 234–244.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Governance and Global AffairsLeiden UniversityLeidenThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyClaremont McKenna CollegeClaremontUSA

Personalised recommendations