There have been reported terrorist attacks in many parts of the world. Some of these terrorist attacks have targeted the United States of America and some have also been aimed at other countries of the world. One case in point was reported by CNN about an attack on an up market shopping mall in the Kenyan capital Nairobi. It is said that a gang of about twenty terrorists stormed the mall and mercilessly shot at and killed innocent shoppers who were going about their business in the mall as well as the mall attendants and even small shop owners in the same building. Those wounded and killed were men, women and children from different nationalities including three United States citizens, Britons, Canadians, Israelis, French and Kenyans. To this day, there has not been a clear explanation as to why these terrorists targeted the mall and what their real intentions were. But the fact remains that a terrorist group called Al- Shaabab, a splinter group of Al-Qaida has owned up and taken responsibility of the terror attack.
Some of these people who are used by such terrorist groups can be termed as people with psychological problems and deviant mannerisms. The kind of deviance they show is that which of alienating themselves from what is considered as the norm to what they think is a divine calling. Just like the Libyan suicide bombers in Iraq, the people used in these terror attacks especially this one, are young men from Somalia, Kenyans, Britons and Turkish who have been recruited into the Islamist terror groups. It is sad enough that three Britons are masterminds of the attack, one of whom, Samantha Lewthwaite is on the run and is been sought after by Interpol. Hers and the rest of the group may be doing what they are doing due to conflicting ideologies on what they believe in and what the rest of the society believes in. Religion can also be said to be playing a major role in the whole scenario but it can also be ruled out as the major cause of their actions. This is true because all the terror group wants is for Kenya and the rest of the world withdrawing their armies and troops from Al- Shabaab infested Somaliland.
If only the problem here can be attributed to natural disagreement stemming from beliefs and values then the terrorist actions have a lot to do with the conflict theory as explained by Richard Quinney (Thio, Calhoum & Conyers 41). Quinney talks of crimes of resistance being deliberately done as acts of rebellion (Thio, Calhoum & Conyers 42). The rebellion in this case may not be targeting capitalism; the crimes may not be done by the proletariat but by a section of a given faith or religion targeting people who are against their acts of impunity. Their deviance is seen through how indiscriminately execute their actions on innocent persons in an effort of making the world governments to bow down to their demands even when it is evident that their concerns are not for the common good of humanity. One may wonder why a section of a people of a given faith profess that they are acting on behalf of the rest of the members by committing crimes when what they are doing is not only against the common norm and morals but also against the laws of the land, humanity and the common good of all peoples leave alone the faith they profess.
When terrorism is given a global perspective, it becomes clear that those who engage in it could be having problems with themselves and the societies within which they are living. A person cannot just wake up one day and decide that he or she is going to detonate a bomb or shoot at people mercilessly in the name of passing a message to the authorities and the world. When such people are critically evaluated, they end up failing tests that seek to ascertain whether they are in their right state of mind. Personal problems frustrations of life and hard line beliefs drive them to executing extremely destructive actions.
The kind of deviance and destruction exhibited by the terrorists is a clear indication that these are people who have put their lives on the line in order to harm other people. It is reported that some terrorists were gunned down by low enforcement officers when an exchange of fire ensued. Which human being in their right mind will choose to die such a painful death was it not for the fact that they choose to destroy them and even stigmatize their families and communities (Thio, Calhoum & Conyers 135). A good example is the case of Samantha Lewthwaite who the Interpol calls the white widow. She is an Irish woman who was born and bred in the United Kingdom. Chances are that her family will have to face the brunt of being pointed at as knowing her whereabouts thereby being watched closely by the authorities. They will not lead normal lives as they will not have a right to private life anymore and this may lead to serious stigmatization from the community and society (Thio, Calhoum & Conyers 234).
Thio, Alex, Calhoum, Thomas & Conyers, Addrain. Readings in Deviant Behavior. 6th Ed. Boston: Allyn & Bacon 2010.