Following any act of terrorism by a single individual, whether it involves bombings, shootings, or other form of violence, there are always questions that are asked afterward. These questions include whether the offender was acting alone or belonged to a larger group, whether mental illness was involved, or what could have driven someone to do such a terrible thing. Since many offenders are either killed by police or commit suicide to avoid capture, these questions often go unanswered.
While mental health professionals have argued for the existence of a "terrorist personality" or that people who belonged to larger terrorist organizations were either brainwashed or psychopaths, research looking at captured members of known terrorist groups has not shown this to be the case. Terrorist organizations typically recruit people who are intelligent and psychologically healthy since they can carry out tasks required of them and work in secret.
To read more, check out my new contribution to the Huffington Post.