Skip to main content

Discerning the Behavior of the Suicide Bomber: The Role of Vengeance

Abstract

Deliberate suicide used to achieve some end in group conflict is a relatively rare but always dramatic behavior. Motivation for such behavior is complex occurs usually at both the group and individual levels, and can have multiple meanings. The author examines suicide bombing as it has occurred recently in both the 9/11 event and in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, notes that it appears to be a behavior motivated mainly by the singular intent to destroy a particular people, and concludes that it is a 'depressive equivalent' behavior rooted in the desire for vengeance. He identifies such behavior, given this motivation, as a crime by the leaders of the groups planning such acts against those they send on suicide bombing missions. He exhorts civilized society to bring these criminals to justice in order to prevent such acts.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Rosenberger, J. Discerning the Behavior of the Suicide Bomber: The Role of Vengeance. Journal of Religion and Health 42, 13–20 (2003). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022208626691

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1022208626691

  • suicidal behavior in group conflict suicide bombing
  • motivation for suicide bombing
  • vengeance