The author contends that terrorism is not a new phenomenon. Depending upon the definition one chooses to adopt terrorism can be traced back to Biblical times. As long as there have been oppressed people within our culture there has been terrorism. Years of systematic repression coupled with feelings of hopelessness and a sense of unfairness prove to be compelling qualitites which lure one to find their voice. As human nature tends to bring together people with like mindsets, views and beliefs, the dynamic process within the group can often elevate people to do as a group what they would never conceive of doing individually, the mob mentality, if you will. It is a sense of security and allows for a level of autonomy. However, there are those within the group that rise even above this level of security and commit the ultimate act - suicide terrorism. The author contends that it is the suicide terrorist's aim in that last final act to speak out, a last final, chilling attempt to be heard. The voice, the sense of power and control they have been denied year after year, generation after generation - leads them to that last final attempt to find the voice that had been taken from them.
To understand the root causes of terrorism it is necessary to look beyond the act and the person or people beneath - not with disdain or shock but with open eyes - only then will we truly begin to understand the dynamics of terrorism. Following a review of pertinent literature regarding the terrorist and terrorism a case study of a suicide bomber will be provided to put a name to the act, if in one small way to see that tragedy is truly on both sides of the terrorist act.
Tilly (2004) explains the within the terrorist group the acts of violence with which we associate them are but a small part of the activity the group engages in. When an act of overt violence is launched against the groups 'adversary' the goal is not the immediate death that may occur, that is just a by product of the act. The motivation of the terrorist action:
In addition to whatever harm it inflicts directly, it sends signals - signals that the target is vulnerable, that the perpetrators exist, and that the perpetrators have the capacity to strike again. The signals typically reach three different audiences: the targets themselves, potential allies of the perpetrators, and third parties that might cooperate with one or the other (Tilly, 2004, p. 9).
Ruby (2002, pp. 15-16) asserts that "terrorism is a form of military action carried out by rational and well-functioning people who do not have access to conventional means and who have valid political motivation for resorting to violence." He further purports that this theory views terrorism and the terrorist who partakes in such behaviour as normal. Terrorism is a manifestation of political