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The Irrational Terrorist and Other Persistent Terrorism Myths

Darren Hudson, Arie Perliger, Riley Post, and Zachary Hohman
The Irrational Terrorist and Other Persistent Terrorism Myths
ISBN: 978-1-62637-849-0
ISBN: 978-1-62637-850-6
ISBN: 978-1-62637-905-3
2020/165 pages/LC: 2019033915
"The book that terrorism experts have been waiting for—one that debunks popular misconceptions about international terrorism!"—Christine Sixta Rinehart, University of South Carolina Union


Opinion surveys show that what the public assumes it knows about terrorism is at best a badly distorted view. Recalling the "Flat Earth" phenomenon, early misconceptions have become solidified, despite new evidence refuting them.

The authors of The Irrational Terrorist discredit these popular myths and misconceptions, providing an accessible overview of the realities of terrorism and liberally illustrating their analysis with case studies. Ranging from the religious and economic backgrounds of individual terrorists to the nature and outreach of terrorist organizations, they offer fact-based, cutting-edge explanations of the motivations and behavior of terrorist groups.


Darren Hudson is professor and Larry Combest Endowed Chair for Agricultural Competitiveness at Texas Tech University. Arie Perliger is professor and director of security studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Riley Post, a Special Forces officer in the US Army, is currently assigned to the US Military Academy. Zachary Hohman is associate professor of experimental social psychology at Texas Tech University.


  • What We Think We Know About Terrorism.
  • Myth: I Know Terrorism When I See It.
  • Myth: Religious Fundamentalism Is the Only Source of Terrorism.
  • Myth: Terrorists Are Poor and Uneducated.
  • Myth: Terrorists Are Crazy.
  • Myth: Terrorist Organizations Are Unsophisticated.
  • The Influence of the Media and Governments.
  • Four Critical Myths of Counterterrorism.
  • Putting It All in Perspective.