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Academic Training Modules


An academic course addressing the Psychology of Terrorism is currently offered by Dr. Michael Bozarth at the University at Buffalo. Click here  to view the course syllabus. To post comments or to participate in the online discussions, click here  to enter the web blog.

Individual course presentations are available below. After downloading the presentation, right click the mouse and select "Full Screen" for the best viewing.

Course Modules

Course Overview

A General Introduction

Historic Roots of Terrorism

Understanding Radical Islamic Fundamentalists

Terrorist Weapons and Tactics

Terrorism and the Media

Psychological Impact of Terrorism

The Genesis of Terrorism

Understanding the Terrorist

National, Regional, and Individual Preparedness for Terrorist Attacks

Developing Effective Counter-Terrorist Strategies

Special Topics



These training modules may seem to deviate considerably from the subject stated by the website title--the Psychology of Terrorism. It is the author's contention that before understanding the psychological aspects of terrorism, one must first develop a good understanding of several related topics. These sundry topics address the historical and sociopolitical factors that contribute to the modern conflicts that provide the impetus for terrorism, the tactics and weapons used by terrorists, the effects of the media on the terrorists' impact, and the orientation of radical Islamic fundamentalism that forms the basis of the most serious worldwide terrorist threat today. It is futile to try to understand the "mind-set" of the terrorist and the psychological impact of their actions without first understanding the "tools" used to generate the terror and the motivation for the violent conflict in which they have become engaged. Modules addressing the psychological impact of terrorism, the individual and group dynamics that generate terrorism, and the typologies that may be useful for describing terrorists can then be viewed in their proper context. The final modules address preparedness for terrorist attacks and the development of effective counter-terrorist strategies. This material is included to provide a comprehensive overview of the psychology of terrorism.