Publication Date

Fall 2018


Helms School of Government


Criminal Justice


Suicide Terrorism, Terrorism, Religion


Criminology and Criminal Justice | Religion | Terrorism Studies


The purpose of this thesis is to analyze suicide terrorism and to examine the logic behind it. The thesis will examine recent Islamic suicide terrorism and why it is so successful. This paper will also attempt to define suicide terrorism and explain how it functions.

The first half of this thesis reviews a short history of suicide terrorism to show the logic behind it. It will begin with the Old Testament and continue throughout history until the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City. This thesis will discuss the motivation for terrorist organizations to encourage, and individuals to commit, suicide attacks within their certain causes. It will also examine the mental thought process behind suicide terrorists.

The second half of this thesis will examine the Islamic use of suicide terrorism to show that they follow the rational pattern of other suicide terrorists. It will discuss Islam and the violence of the religion. It will also examine martyrdom along with the goals and rewards of the jihadists. This thesis will look at the way the Western world, Christians, and Jews view Islamic suicide terrorists. Finally, the thesis will discuss the difference between historical and current suicide terrorism and how it will continue.