3141 Chestnut St, Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA 19104
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I. Invitation to Cuba

II. The Psychology of Terrorists

III. Drexel University

IV. November 8, 2006

V. The Psychology of Captivity

VI. The Psychology of Prisons

VII. The Psychology of War

VIII. Preparations

IX. 1934

X. November 13, 2006

XI. Takeoff

XII. In The Air

XIII. Arrival at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

XIV. Briefing at Headquarters of the Joint Task Force

XV. Lunch

XVI. Guard Duty

XVII. Camp Delta

XVIII. Medical Treatment

XIX. Behavioral Services

XX. Camp 5

XXI. Departure from Guantanamo Bay

The Legitimacy of GTMO: An Eyewitness Report, Page 2

A Travel Journal by Dr. Eric A. Zillmer
Pacifico Professor of Psychology at Drexel University

The Psychology of Terrorists
October 15, 2006 (Drexel University)

“As you are likely aware, the opportunity to see what is going on there has been limited for logistical and security reasons. We will be requesting special clearances for our distinguished visitors from both the command and local theater authorities.”

I respond to the queries and am getting more excited as the trip date gets closer.

For many years, I have developed a special interest the Psychology of Terrorists, having published many papers and some books on this topic. In The Quest for the Nazi Personality, printed in 1995, I outlined how ordinary German citizens became involved in state-sponsored terrorism.

There have been assumptions made that those who commit terrorist attacks must be financially disadvantaged, developmentally immature, from broken families, fanatical, uneducated, weak, religious zealots, criminals, or just mentally ill. How else could one explain some of the most hideous terror attacks, involving innocent women and children? Terrorists are evil, most people assume.

A psychological analysis of terrorists, including al Qaeda and suicide bombers suggests, however,that terrorists commit acts of terror for what they believe are entirely justifiable and logical issues. Terrorists perpetrate their actions with deliberation and a realistic knowledge of the consequences. After becoming a participant in this violent social movement, it is difficult for an individual to abandon it without betraying his closest friends and family. This natural and intense loyalty to the group inspires the participant’s faith and transforms alienated young Muslims into fanatical terrorists. As such, a modern understanding of the psychology of terrorists shows them to be avery formidable enemy, indeed.

While my invitation is obviously related to the cumulative negative perception GTMO has received, the trip could not have come at a better time. I have just published a book entitled; Military Psychology: Clinical and Operational Applications. The book outlines in detail the psychology of terrorists. Furthermore, I am planning a picture exhibit of military psychology for a three-week long run at the International House in Philadelphia. The trip will provide an interesting opportunity to visit GTMO and put into context much of what I have written about through an eyewitness report.