Sunday, August 5, 2012

Criminal Profiling Topic of the Day: Mass Murderer or Terrorist - An Important Distinction

This post comes with no pictures and no links. I simply want to get across the point that a mass murderer is different than a terrorist and we shouldn't confuse the labels.

Mass murderer - a disgruntled, angry psychopath or borderline personality disordered individual who hates everyone in the world and picks a group to target that a)  justifies his crime, b) is a fishbowl he feels comfortable committing the crime in,  and c) gets a lot of media publicity for himself.

Terrorist -  a disgruntled, angry psychopath or borderline personality disordered individual who is a) in the employ of a terrorist organization who selects the target for political reasons and the impact of the terrorist attack on the political issue, b) is sent on an assignment to kill, and c) gets a lot of media publicity for the cause.

Mislabeling mass murderers as terrorists encourages misdirected animosity between groups of people when the anger should be only targeted toward the individual and the development of psychopathy in society.

Examples of mass murder:

Oklahoma City - mass murderers 
Columbine - mass murderers
Virginia Tech - mass murderer
Fort Hood - mass murderer
Norway - mass murderer
Aurora, Colorado - mass murderer
Wisconsin Sikh temple - mass murderer

Examples of terrorism:

Ku Klux Klan - terrorism by Christian fanatics
9/11 - terrorism by Muslim fanatics
1985 bombing of Air India plane (Canada) -   terrorism by Sikh fanatics
2007 Ajmer Dargah blast  - terrorism believed to be enacted by Hindu fanatics

Let's put the proper label on the proper psychopath: it will help us not foment hatred for no reason and also help us understand what exact issues we should be focusing on to prevent future attacks. If we are dealing with mass murder, we need to focus on the development of psychopaths in middle class America and if we are dealing with terrorism we need to focus on where and why terrorists organizations are developing, how they are being funded, and how they are recruiting. For both types of killings, we need to know how to identify the individuals and their intent to kill before the crime is enacted and to develop the best methods to prevent and stop such killings.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

August 5, 2012


Keith D. said...

Thank you Pat. Too many people want to label these mass murderers terrorists because somehow this seems like a more insulting label or because they feel "terrorized" by their heinous acts. The problem is, when mass murderers are seeking attention, labeling them with a "worse" label only empowers and feeds them-- we're cutting off our noses to spite our faces so to speak. Words mean things, and it would behoove society to remember that most basic fact.

Pat Brown said...

Keith, I don't think the label has to do with making the mass murderer look worse; it tends to often be more a desire to push a political point of view. The Fort Hood mass murderer was labeled a terrorist by the right and Breivik and this temple mass murderer terrorists by the left. The right says, "Look how Muslims are attacking us!" and the left says, "Look how white supremacists are being racist!" Sadly, neither is willing to step back and actually study the issues analytically instead of emotionally and get all bent out of shape if the label of terrorist isn't used for the purpose they want.

Lostribe said...

I agree except for the Oklahoma City one. Doesn't the fact it was on a federal building imply terrorism?

Pat Brown said...

No, because there was no group trying to change any governmental behavior or make a politic a political point. Take LET who has committed a number of terrorist attacks in India. They want India out of Kashmir. The attacks on the Madrid trains were to get Spain out of Iraq. It worked. Both of these were planned attacks by a political faction who trained terrorists to commit the act. Oklahoma City was a well-planned attack by two disgruntled failures in life. There was no political group that recruited and trained them and were behind the attack. A political motive was claimed by the mass murderers but that was the justification for a cool day in the sun and instigated by anger toward the US government for failed army careers and The Turner Diaries. If one had been watching for a political group working up to a terrorist attack in this case, none would be found. If one had noted two psychopathic assholes acting weird and saying shit, they could have stopped this mass murder from happening.

Anonymous said...

You are extremely misinformed. Oklahoma City was an attack on the federal government by a right wing extremist to inflict damage and fear for a political cause. I agree with other things you said...but this is the most obvious.

Pat Brown said...

Anonymous, clearly you did not read what I wrote and I am not misinformed. McVeigh viewed HIMSELF as a right wing extremist doing something for a political cause; however, just because a psychopath uses such a label or justification for his crimes does not make it true. If a serial killer murders prostitutes and claims he is doing it because his mother was a whore and he is cleaning up society, it does not mean it is so. McVeigh was a loser, an angry failure of a man who read a book, The Turner Diaries, and thought it would be awesome to act out the book and get the thrill of victory, the thrill of getting back at society. He found one man who thought it would be cool too, like a serial killer duo, and they blew up a building. They did NOT work for a terrorist group and they did not have a clear political message....that is the hallmark or true terrorism. What we had here were two psychopaths committing mass murder with BS claims.