Ideological Violence and Sociopathic Rage
Date Written: 26/03/2017
Year Published: 2017
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX20586
How can we distinguish violence driven by ideology from sociopathic rage?
Low-tech terrorists driving vehicles into pedestrians is becoming more common, such as the assault on a Christmas market in Berlin last December, or, most horrifically, the truck attack on Bastille Day revellers in Nice last year. The day after the Westminster horror, a similar attack, in which a man tried to drive a car into a crowd, was foiled in Antwerp.
Knife attacks, too, are becoming a common feature of low-tech terrorism, from the beheading of Lee Rigby on the streets of south London in 2013 by Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, to the wounding in 2015 of three people in Leytonstone tube station in east London when 29-year-old Muhaydin Mire, ran amok with a knife, apparently as some form of deluded response to the war in Syria, to the murder last year of a priest, Father Jacques Hamel, in a church in Saint Etienne-du-Rouvray, in northern France, by two teenage Islamists, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean.
What such attacks expose is the continuing degeneration of Islamist terror and the increasingly blurred lines between ideological violence and sociopathic rage.