Qualities are not causes
In this chapter, we examine several issues for understanding the development of the terrorist. We look at how attempts to proﬁle the terrorist have ﬂoundered and instead consider involvement in terrorism as a complex process. The diﬃculties associated with terrorist proﬁling are not new, yet our thinking about the terrorist is rooted in age-old assumptions which have proven unfounded, impractical and devoid of empirical support. Viewing involvement in terrorism as a process may, ironically, lead to the development of more practical beneﬁts than current attempts to proﬁle terrorists can oﬀer. One of the main arguments of this chapter is that in understanding the terrorist, our focus ought to change from the pursuit of proﬁles to the mapping of pathways, and from the search for root causes to the identiﬁcation of route qualities. This chapter presents an alternative to the proﬁling metaphor and sets the scene for a greater consideration of the model to follow.