There is no empirical evidence to link autism and terrorism, in the general population. However, when terrorist acts are planned or executed by individuals with autism, it is important to develop an understanding of the individual’s autistic functioning and how it may contextualise factors that push them towards terrorism and aspects of terrorism that may pull them in, in order to manage and reduce risk. The role of autism in resilience also needs to be considered in order to capitalise on natural and individually meaningful sources of motivation and protection. This paper explores how different features of autism may contextualise risk and resilience and the implications for support and diversion approaches. Caution is encouraged against drawing conclusions of causality and over-simplification of autism-terrorism links, especially in individuals with co-existing mental health problems and psychosocial adversities. The need for highly individualised formulations that take into account the heterogeneity of autism and how it is functionally expressed, as well as the complexity of terrorism, is strongly advocated. Finally, the limitations in the empirical evidence and research in the field of autism and terrorism are highlighted.
- Journal : Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
- Author : Al-Attar, Z.
- Date : 2020
- Link : https://doi.org/10.1080/14789949.2020.1812695