"Unspeakable acts of terror, torture, and mass murder are not so much the results of individuals who have lost their minds as they are of individuals who have lost their conscience. If, indeed, it turns out that the heinous suicide-attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon are traced to Osama Bin Laden, and his chief mentor, former psychiatrist Ayman al-Zawahiri, it would not be the first time psychiatrists had served as the manipulators behind charismatic, but essentially weak and flawed, human beings — systematically feeding their hatreds, stroking their egos, and stripping their consciences — until eventually even the most barbaric act may appear plausible and rational in the name of some twisted cause."

Beverly K. Eakman
Cloning of the American Mind, 2001

A review of infamous fascists, Neo-Nazis, assassins and zealots reveals that many had previously undergone some form of psychiatric treatment, had studied psychiatric and psychological methods or were indoctrinated using those methods, before carrying out or ordering the execution of their murderous acts.

Psychiatry or psychiatric treatments have also been employed to facilitate the execution of totalitarian and terrorist objectives. The Japanese "kamikaze" pilots who suicidally attacked allied ships during World War II, used psychiatric drugs called amphetamines to get charged up.1 Amphetamines are addictive and can cause personality changes, psychosis, euphoria and combativeness.2

In the 1980s, such "pep pills" were provided for suicide-bombers in the Middle East.3 Today, Dr. Ariel Merari, a psychologist at Tel Aviv University, tells us that suicide-bombers undergo "psychological indoctrination, intended to motivate them to move past 'the point of no return.'" 4

More recently in Sierra Leone's recent civil war, children as young as seven were given cocaine, amphetamines and other drugs to prepare them for combat. The effect, they said, was that they could go on murderous binges for days, without stopping.

A Roster of International Terrorism
  • The following notorious international criminals were influenced by psychiatric and psychological manipulation or practice-all deserve the tag of terrorist.

AYMAN AL-ZAWAHIRI: Osama Bin Laden's chief advisor and doctor is a former psychiatrist and surgeon, convicted of terrorism in Egypt and sentenced to death in absentia.5 Al-Zawahiri studied behavior, psychology and pharmacology as part of his medical degree at Cairo University. His father was a pharmacologist. According to Vincent Cannistraro, former top CIA counterterrorist official, "Zawahiri is the guy-he's the operational commander...number one, on the right hand side of Osama." In terms of policy, he says, "it's Zawahiri. He believes that violence is purifying…and he believes he should determine who the enemies are. He kills innocent people."6 In 1996, he was considered the most credible threat and a highly lethal terrorist who could strike against the U.S. A warning issued at the time specified suicide bombing as the likely form of attack.7 According to Islamic lawyer, Muntasir Zayat, Dr. al-Zawahiri is to Bin Laden "what the brain is to the body." Dr. al-Zawahiri "was able to reshape Bin Laden's thinking and mentality and turn him from merely a supporter of the Afghan Jihad to a believer in and exporter of the Jihad's ideology," the lawyer said.8 On September 25, 2001, Interpol issued an arrest warrant for Dr. al-Zawahiri in response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.9