counterterrorism, cultural psychology, Islam, Islamism, Jihad, jihadi talk, Jihadism, language and terrorism, political psychology, psychoanalysis, terrorism
Kobrin, Nancy Hartevelt. The Jihadi Dictionary: The Essential Intel Tool for Military, Law Enforcement, Government and the Concerned Public. Mamaroneck, New York: MultiEducator Press, 2016 (Amazon – Paperback).
Kobrin, Nancy Hartevelt. The Jihadi Dictionary: The Essential Intel Tool for Military, Law Enforcement, Government and the Concerned Public. Mamaroneck, New York: MultiEducator Press, 2016 (Amazon – Kindle).
From the introduction:
The purpose of this dictionary is to explain the confusing and terrifying behavior of the jihadis by bringing to light their unconscious motivation. What is missing in their mental development that makes an entire group enact such vicious crimes not only against humanity but even their own people? The reservoir of their rage arises from problems nested in early maternal attachment in shame–honor cultures ― the early mother/infant bonding attachment, the first relationship in life. This is the real driver of the terrorism. While there has been a voluminous amount of material written about terrorism, little hinges on how to decode the meaning of the terrorists’ aberrant behavior from the perspective of early childhood development and trauma.
One has to be cautious not to “diagnosis” an entire group of people, but given the amount of destruction, cruelty, sadism, and revenge leading to heinous crimes against humanity, in this case I make an exception. Daesh, The Islamic State, helped me uncover a borderline psychotic diagnosis for jihadis because their behavior is so out of bounds in terms of morality and ethics that it has revealed its own psychosis. Others in the Arab world are aware of this and realize that they have created a tiger whose tail they are now bound to ride. Hezbollah and Iranian extremism has also been blatant in its wanton destruction and, in fact, has been a major funder of Sunni violence even though they are Shia. Almost worse than the terrorist attacks themselves is the jihadis’ lack of empathy and concern for the pain they cause. Jihadis are incapable of walking in the shoes of others. They may appear to be empathic, but it is only what I refer to as pseudo-empathy.
Kobrin’s writing is as entertaining as its interpretations of language are educating and loaded with insight.
Here’s a portion from the first “A” — for “Acting Out”:
Acting out is a process frequently seen in play therapy, where children have the opportunity to play out their most violent behavior and repressed fantasies. Often these acts are attacks against the mother, who is seen as the source of painful dependency needs and nurturing. The breast that is needed is also the breast that needs to be destroyed — e.g., beheadings, rage against their mothers, the need to get rid of her, to violently separate from her. Jihadis manifest extreme attention-seeking behavior . . . . “watching somebody else doing an action is just like doing the action yourself.”
On a late page (271-272) — and all between appears just as well grounded and rich in perspective — comes this gem associated with “Neoteny”:
The Islamic suicide terrorists and all their accessories to the crime — the engineer bomb maker, the recruiter, the sender, the escort, the charismatic leader, their mothers and fathers, their uncles, the clan, the tribe, the umma — are terrified because they, too, have been “neotenized”. They are developmentally arrested and have never been allowed to separate, individuate, mature, or be free, independent, self-sufficient, confident, and competent human beings. They live their early lives in the throes of terrorizing and shaming child-rearing practices. If one never separates psychologically, they are left with group think, a kind of herd mentality. The family, the community, and the culture embody and accept bad behavior as normative . . . .
For all curious as how it is that Islam, the Religion of Peace seems to be somewhere always wading in blood and unimaginable cruelty, The Jihadi Dictionary delivers answers and explanations aplenty — and they would seem to work.
BackChannels has long maintained that Moscow today “plays” the Jihadists by using their own motivations, proclivities, tendencies, and weaknesses to incite, manipulate, and position the same in service to Moscow’s own medieval ends. As much fits with Soviet Russia’s long history of involvement with terrorism and certainly this blog’s observation of Assad’s engineering the incubation of ISIL.
If the jihadist were not so predictable, the same would not be so useful to the politicians, like Assad, who have figured out how to get some use out of them.