By Amy Zalman, Ph.D., About.com
There Are Two Causes of Terrorism
All terrorist acts are motivated by two things:
Social and political injustice: People choose terrorism when they are trying to right what they perceive to be a social or political or historical wrong—when they have been stripped of their land or rights, or denied these.
The belief that violence or its threat will be effective, and usher in change. Another way of saying this is: the belief that violent means justify the ends. Many terrorists in history said sincerely that they chose violence after long deliberation, because they felt they had no choice.
This explanation of the causes of terrorism may be difficult to swallow. It sounds too simple, or too theoretical. However, if you look at any group that is widely understood as a terrorist group, you will find these two elements are basic to their story.