Wolves are not born in a vacuum, they are born in packs. In fact, the term ‘lone wolf,’ is a misnomer–self-radicalization does not exist. Radical Islamists recruit in social environments such as radical mosques, social media chat rooms and radical schools and neighborhoods, just to name a few. Sophisticated groupthink and manipulation techniques are used to brainwash recruits into believing that killing infidels, or non-believers, is honorable.
Promises such as 72 virgins, forgiveness for family members, along with payment for martyrs, provide incentives for terrorism. But the most effective inducement is the radical Islamist ideology that most terrorists espouse. Packs of new recruits are trained together by using social processes that create a competitive environment. Ego plays a part in trying to one-up one another, thereby escalating the violence and hatred towards the infidel, the unbeliever. Social psychologist Albert Bandura reported that violence is “socially determined.” Radicalization occurs in this type of environment, not in secluded basements of a parents’ home.