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Are Terrorists Crazy?

Terrorists may act like madmen, but psychologists say theyare actually sane, ordinary people. Most al-Qaeda terroristsare middle class family men. Two-thirds have collegeeducations (a tenth even have a postgraduate degrees) andseven out of 10 are married with children.

Forensic psychologist Andrew Silke, who has analyzedtranscripts of the trials of 180 al-Qaeda, terrorists, says,"The widespread view that terrorists are isolated,vulnerable young men with paranoid or borderline personalitydisorders is false?Many psychiatrists and psychologists havewritten that terrorists suffer from delusions and arepsychopaths, but the people who make these claims have nevermet a terrorist face to face. Psychologists who have met aterrorist face to face don't find any evidence of this. Theyactually find them to be fairly ordinary. They certainlyaren't crazy, they certainly aren't mad." This is an echo ofthe post World War II Neuremberg trials of Nazis, in whichthe most cruel concentration camp masterminds were found tobe quite ordinary people.

German psychiatrist Wilfred Rusch, who studied the BaaderMeinhof terrorists, says, "None of these people arecrazy?there is no psychiatric explanation as to why theywere involved in terrorism."

Psychiatrist George El-Nimr thinks World War II could havebeen prevented if some the world leaders of that time hadseen a shrink. Toward the end of their lives, U.S.presidents Woodrow Wilson and Franklin D. Roosevelt may haveboth been victims of dementia. Millions of Russians mighthave been saved from death if the dictator Stalin had seen apsychiatrist, since he probably had a series of strokes,followed by dementia, as well. El-Nimr says, "This might bean explanation for the florid paranoia, dimming of superiorintellect and the unleashing of his most sadisticpersonality traits." He thinks Roosevelt's dementia impairedhis negotiations with Stalin at the end of World War II.

World War II might never have happened if Woodrow Wilson hadresigned after developing dementia. If his mind hadn'tdeteriorated, he might have been able to convince Congressto ratify the Versailles Treaty, which would have led to theU.S. backing the League of Nations and possibly have avoideda war.

One leader who did the right thing was British PrimeMinister Harold Wilson, who resigned in 1976 due to his"remarkable awareness" that his mind was deteriorating.There has been some debate about whether Ronald Reagan wasbeing affected by Alzheimer?s before the end of his term.Nimr says of Wilson, "It was obvious that some had what wecall dementia. It's not only to do with memory, it is to dowith things like decision making, prioritizing and sense ofdirection as well. If these have been affected this canobviously effect people's decisions, even in the earlystages of dementia."

Were the horrific events of September 11, 2001 truly aninsidejob? World-renowned conspiracy theorist Jim Marrs makes acompelling case that 9/11 marks the intersection of severalconspiracies at once, each based on overlapping politicalagendas, and cites many disturbing anomalies to back up histheory. You can listen to Whitley's interview with Jim Marrsstarting July 24!

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