Instrumental and organizational theories of suicidal terrorism neglect the cultural dimension. Terrorism is not a “lone wolf” phenomenon but a “relational” process: a result of a radicalization of cultural norms and values in extremist subcultures with varying levels of moral and material support from the local culture. This essay outlines the general contours of a cultural approach to the phenomenon of Terrorism. Specifically, it applies Durkheim's typology of suicide to homicide and suicidal homicide. The Altruistic type of suicidal homicide is designated as the most intractable variety because of its high level of integration in its culture of origin, whereas egoistic and anomic varieties of suicidal homicide are manageable with requisite global mobilization and vigilance.
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