However there is a major difference between sect and cult.
A sect is a consequence of an established religion where mostly people either die off or expand into a major denomination so a sect-based religious group is more likely to play the role of the victim, not the aggressor.A cult, on the other hand, is a more dangerous, spiritually innovative group headed by a charismatic leader who usually motivates his group and has several aims other than to become a major denomination.
Today's terrorists are ultimately more apocalyptic in their perspectives and methods. For many violent and radical organizations, terror has evolved from being a means to an end, to becoming the end in itself. The National Commission on Terrorism quoted R. James Woolsey:
Another feature of religious cults that makes them incredibly dangerous is the personality-driven nature of these groups. Cultist devotion to one leader leaves followers less able to make their own moral decisions or to consult other sources of reasoning. If that leader is emotionally or mentally unstable, the consequences can be catastrophic. The more dangerous religious terrorist groups from traditional faiths may often share this feature of the cult as a charismatic leader who exerts a powerful influence over the members of the group. (Matthew J. ...Show more