The search term 'why do terrorists kill innocent' in Google revealed a lot articles that offer various perspectives, some from a scientific perspective
Yeah, I generally skip google (and its links to opinion pieces and harf-arsed journalism), and search directly in academic journal websites such as http://www.revues.org http://www.cairn.info
(I don't remember which ones have the most enlish language articles, though). http://www.jstor.org
is also handy, if you have academic access to it.
But anyway, terrorism will always "win" in the sense that killing indiscriminately is super easy : no paranoid totalitarian state will ever be secured from random suicide attacks, whatever the motive. But it still doesn't say much. In Europe, it is small causes with big consequences, but still small causes : it takes one moron to commit murders and shake a whole society, but that's still very few people doing it compared to the population. It's not "society becoming crazy". And in Africa, well, it's a nazi-like regime that is waging a conquest and occupation war on various (muslim) populations, but there again the nazi analogy brings some oxygen (nazism was a terrible thing for half a dozen years, but got defeated, shamed, and was probably not sustainable). I expect ISIS to be crushed eventually and to pay for it, even though this won't repair anything. It's a moment in history, and we've been through many of these. And we still will.
At a local everyday level ("war is far") I am more bothered by their indirect ideological success. Terrorism is also about provocation and polarisation, and this works super well on imbeciles, who completely buy on the fundamentalist islamists claims of "we are real islam", and completely participate in the hijacking of 1,6 billion people in an artificial "war" they don't give a damn about. The first target of agitateurs are the lukewarms, those who threaten the very validity of their imaginary wars. Once people will have been polarized into islamists and islamophobes, the terrorists will have won : they will have the war they want, in their own terms, with participants and identities as they define them themselves. And this is quite a succesfully ongoing process. As its taking place on "our" field, we are responsible for that, and that makes it all the more infuriating. That is a war on representation that the extreme-rights (both the islamic extreme right and the european islamophobic extreme-right) are currently winning together. And this discourages me more. Because the ripples of this victory of theirs will last long after ISIS' defeat.
So, I have my own discouragements, related to this. My own pulsions to give up in front of the world's immutable stupidity, and the perpetual repeat of its old fallacies no matter how thoroughtly they get deconstructed at scientific levels. Less about the deshumanization that terrorists are guilty of (for us, a pragmatic challenge) and more about the deshumanization that we are guilty of (which is a self-identity, educationnal, ideological challenge). Terrorism is contributing to dragging us
backwards, not that we eed that much help for that... And that frightens me because it's the part that is directly on our own hands, and that we let slip down...
So, that's for my own bitching. And my own nocturnal stare-at-the-ceiling moments...