As the nation continues to recover from the devastating effects of 9/11, other mass murders continue to surface. From school shootings to race-related church killings, many innocent people have fell victim to senseless crimes. Thus, knowledge regarding the motives of mass murderers is extremely important. In many cases, mass murders occur due to revenge or rage. For instance, some school killings were done by kids were bullied or did not “fit in” at school, and thus they wanted to take revenge out on everyone. Mass murders committed by terrorists to civilians of other countries may be due to an unresolved conflict with a particular country, which leads to revenge-seeking terrorist acts. Other motives are psychologically and emotionally charged, which may include depression and despair. Ultimately, there are many motives that can lead to mass murders, and more research should be done on the psychological factors that drive individuals to murder in order to gain a better understanding of mass murders.
Due to the growing interest in terrorism, the literature regarding political science and terrorism has increased over the years. Thus, this leads to a large variation of scholarly literature on terrorism in which researchers have different perspectives and directions on the research. The array of scholarly discussion on the topic can spark debates and controversies about the issue of terrorism, which may be counterproductive to the overall research. Although, debates broaden perspectives on terrorism, it can also be problematic to the research goal. Constant debates on subjects such as the definition of terrorism may take researchers away from the goal of discovering more about terrorism, its effects and causes. Also, the exclusion of empirical evidence to support its reasoning is another problem with research. Thus, there is very little observation done in research, which may lead to a lack of substantial evidence and results. Thus, scholarly debates about terrorism and lack of empirical analysis can inhibit the process of terrorism research.
Another problem includes the challenge of tracking and monitoring threats to national security. Due to the vast nature of the Internet, there are many loopholes and dark areas, known as the “Dark Web,” that make it difficult to track and monitor potential terrorists. For instance, encrypted communications poses extreme challenges to security as many terrorist groups use online forums to spread propaganda and devise terrorist activities. Thus, the inability to effectively monitor terrorist activity has created major problems with national security. Essentially, as the internet continues to grow and expand, new, innovative tracking methods have to be implemented in order to mitigate threats to security and minimize the onset of terrorism.
- Osborne, C. (2015). Encrypted communication ‘biggest problem’ in tackling terrorism, Europol
warns. Zdnet, Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com.
- Ramsland, K. (2012). Mass murder motives. Psychology Today, Retrieved from
- Young, J.K. & Findley, M.G. (2011). Promise and pitfalls of terrorism research. International
Studies Review, 13, 1-21.