Toward developing a profile of suicide terrorists: A sociological analysis*

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Raghu N. Student
Amir Abbassi


Our major objective in this paper is to report findings of a small scale study aimed at developing an initial and general profile of suicide terrorists in the contemporary world. We employed Delphi procedures for listing characteristics and behaviors of suicide terrorists at psychological, demographic, economic. and sociopolitical levels of analysis. We first based their initial listing on the existing literature and media reports. which was then handed over to a panel of 73. 'experts' in personal interviews conducted in two rounds. Our respondents finalized a list of 48 characteristics of suicide terrorists grouped under three major heading. Our research was guided by the sociological perspective and appears to have a suggestive role for future studies by providing several useful ideas on the subject of suicide terrorism.

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