chapter  1
19 Pages

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.