Why does someone resolve to take his own life in order to murder other people? What is the state of mind which allows him to commit such a monstrous act? This book explores the mental state that compels certain individuals to perform murderous, suicidal acts and emphasizes that, whereas a suicidal terrorist attack can be described as a crime against humanity, its protagonists cannot necessarily be classified as criminal or insane. There is no such a thing as a "typical" suicide terrorist - each attacker differs in age, sex, family status, culture, and even religion. Indeed, the common elements in suicide terrorism should perhaps be sought not so much in the individuals concerned as in the dynamics rooted in their group, family history or country. It may be extreme situations experienced by the group situations that are either objectively extreme or perceived as such that give rise to paradoxical behaviour at individual level. Psychoanalysis is well placed to consider this terrain.

chapter One|11 pages

A strategic aim

chapter Two|8 pages

Psychoanalytic contributions

chapter Three|14 pages

Origins and profile

chapter Four|7 pages

Martyrdom and the sadomasochistic link

chapter Five|4 pages


chapter Six|6 pages

The network and filicide

chapter Seven|8 pages

The female suicide bomber

chapter Eight|10 pages


chapter Nine|5 pages


chapter Ten|4 pages

Dissociating emotions

chapter Eleven|10 pages

Unique identity and omnipotence

chapter Twelve|5 pages

A cannibal God

chapter Thirteen|7 pages

Terrorism: reversible or irreversible?

chapter |4 pages