A Department of Homeland Security Emeritus Center of Excellence led by the University of Maryland

"In their own words: Interviews with suicide bombers, their families and their commanders"


"In their own words: Interviews with suicide bombers, their families and their commanders"

Date: 
Friday, April 18, 2014
Time: 
8:45am - 9:45am
Location: 

Rm.1103 Biology-Psychology Building,
University of Maryland, College Park

The speaker, Dr. Ariel Merari of Tel Aviv University is a world renowned expert on the psychology of terrorism, with research experience in this domain that extends several decades back. The title of his talk is “In their own words: Interviews with suicide bombers, their families and their commanders."

This webinar lecture will describe a series of studies in which failed suicide bombers and organizers of suicide attacks were subjected to systematic clinical psychological interviews and tests, and were compared to non-suicide terrorists. This direct psychological examination enabled a first-hand assessment of the personality characteristics and motivation of suicide bombers. Other interviews provided a comprehensive picture of the ways by which the suicide bombers were recruited, prepared and dispatched to their planned death, as well as how they felt and behaved along this road.

This information was supplemented by data derived from interviews with the families of suicide bombers who died carrying out their attacks. Altogether, the series of studies allowed a multi-faceted look at the phenomenon of suicide terrorism.

This lecture is part of the MINERVA project, Motivational, Ideological and Social Aspects of Radicalization, led by START Investigators Arie Kruglanski and Michele Gelfand.