Profiling Osama by Counter-Terrorist Specialist Michael Eber

            The following paper is an analysis of the Islamic Fundamentalist movement that has been involved in international acts of terror.  These extremists have stopped at no obstacle to pledge their allegiance to the Jihad.  I, Michael Eber am a counter terrorist specialist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  I have studied the Muslim Extremist movements for 15 years now.  I am a scholar of all writings that have been used to create leaders and mass movements.  I have been used as an expert on the books The True Believer and The Prince.  My training by the FBI and my Masters of English from Columbia Universityhave enabled me to create profiles and analyze possible threats from current world leaders.  What you are about to read will enlighten and disturb you, because of the individual I am focusing on.  Osama bin Laden is the most wanted felon in the world.  Bin Laden fits my profile of a terrorist leader.  He is the number one threat to world peace.

           Osama bin Laden has taken over the minds of thousands of Muslim Fundamentalists.  He holds the power to call for terrorist attacks at any time.  How did he achieve this power and how has he maintained it with such a large amount of people?  He has gotten so many people to follow his teachings, that he is the world's most sought after terrorist.  The Machiavelli and Hoffer wrote books that Osama has taken into account. He uses them to keep his subordinates in line. The psychological world classifies Osama bin Laden as a narcissist.  The FBI certainly agrees.

           He has no interest in the return Islamic Kingdom of the 8th Century. He wants personal fame and glory.  He stops at no cost and is willing to end people into certain death.  This is the key to our profile.  If bin Laden were out for the entire Islamic world, he would not have men kill themselves.  No religion wants people to kill themselves.  Bin Laden uses religion as a front for his mission.  The suicide bombers are not martyrs.  They are criminals and will be treated as criminals when they do not succeed.  Bin Laden is full of himself and cares about no one else. This is why he allows men to kill themselves.  This is the scariest type of leader, since he does not care about his own people.The True Believer by Eric Hoffer is a book that examines mass movements and fanaticism.  Many people believe that this book is an important tool for people that study business and marketing. It is also helpful when we examine our own involvement in current movements as well as our ancestors. The insight that one gets from this book can help us understand why individuals get involved in mass movements.  Through this book, we can see human beings shortcomings and tendencies to follow.  After reading this book, I have a better understanding of the past and what is come in the future.

The social misfits in societies are the most easily persuaded to join mass movements.  When we look at misfits in recent years, we are forced to look at the Muslim Fundamentalists that attacked the World Trade Center twice in 10 years.  It cannot be denied that there is a mass movement to destroy the United States and Israel.  The people that are involved in this movement feel lost.  They are impoverished and need someone to blame for their problems.  The Muslim leaders that are involved use the United States and Israel as scapegoats.

             Hoffer discusses the idea that fanaticism derives from the frustration and sense of personal failure that people feel when social change is taking place.  The people that are soldiers of the Al Qaeda terrorist group are definitely guilty of this.  They feel as if the only way they can achieve their goal is through following their leaders.  Even the people that are not soldiers are in support of the destruction of the United States.   They have been degraded and deprived for so long, that they want to feel like human beings again.  The world has become capitalistic and these people are suffering because of it.  I am not agreeing with the terrorists' actions, but they are desperate for a better way of life.

            Hoffer brings up a theory that was definitely used by Osama Bin Laden.  Hoffer thought that the past and the future are fictionalized.  Osama also believed that the present needed to be fictionalized as well.  Leaders of these movements must create outrageous ideas in order to achieve their goals.  This is definitely the case with the World Trade Center attacks.  Who would have thought to attack these buildings?  It sounds like something out of a science fiction movie.  Even the creators of the Die Hard Trilogy, were not imaginative enough to have planes crash into 110 story skyscrapers.  This vision was crazy, but it captures what Hoffer was thinking and bin Laden's use of the theory.

            Another argument about mass movements is that negative personality types effect people's negative impulses.  Obviously the Muslim leaders, such as Osama bin Laden are negative.  Hitler used the same tactics.  These two horrible individuals used negative things to achieve power and gain huge followings.  Scapegoating is negative, but it works when you want to start a mass movement.  Both the Nazis and the Muslim Fundamentalists of today have a person that they blame for their problems.  This negative outlook brings people together to unite, and attempt to destroy other people in the hopes of bettering their lives.  The group of Fundamentalists whom follow Osama blame the Americans for the state of the world.  The hatred of Americans forms a common bond.  Osama certainly used this scapegoat to build one of the most sophisticated terror networks ever.

            The scariest aspect of the arguments that Hoffer wrote about is that successful mass movements are more self-sacrificing than self-fulfilling.  This can explain why the suicide bombers of 9/11 took the course of action that they did.  They believed that if they died for the cause, their people would be better off.  Osama praises people for self-sacrifice.  Suicide bombers become martyrs.  The entire community of Fundamentalists praises the person and, even go as far as to put up banners with the so-called martyr's face on the streets.  In a way, this brought the whole situation in the Middle East to the worlds attention.  Now, we actually know where Afghanistan is located.  We are also more aware of the problems that are causing this mass movement.  Before September 11, most Americans were oblivious to the entire Middle East.  Osama bin Laden understands The True Believer and the book has aided him in this aspect of his leadership.

            Niccolo Machiavelli wrote The Prince for Lorenzo de’ Medici to help the Medici strengthen and govern Italy.  Osama bin Laden has used this book in attempt to strengthen his own personal ego.  The methods described by Machiavelli, are not necessarily the ways that he believes are ethical.  The ways to achieve and hold power are almost all unethical.  Machiavelli did not write this book with ethics in mind.  Osama does not use an ethical protocol for any of his actions.  It is obviously unethical to send suicide bombers to kill unarmed civilians.  If Osama was ethical he would attack military installations.  Machiavelli wrote The Prince to provide a blue print for dominance, achievement and political success.  Osama bin Laden has certainly put this blueprint to work in his years of leading the Muslim Fundamentalists.  Machiavelli obviously loved Italy and wanted Italy to prosper.  Osama has misused this book for his own personal gain.  Machiavelli’s study of the past made this book a great tool that has been used for both good and evil.  He was able to prove his points through examples of past leaders that had both succeeded and failed.  Osama has definitely studi

            Machiavelli believed that the end justifies the means.  If it were necessary to kill and be ruthless in order to better Italy, it must be done.  There is no way to achieve this goal, without being ruthless at some point.  People would have to die in order for Italy to flourish.  Even a hereditary principality may need to be shown brutality in order to maintain the power of the ruler.  New principalities are in the most need of brutality, according to Machiavelli.  Osama bin Laden follows this one particular view of Machiavelli.  He does not care who is hurt in the process of the terrorist attacks, his top concern is hurting American civilians.  Osama bin Laden does not care about the future of Islam, yet he has convinced his followers that he has th

            Machiavelli states that a leader must take care of the people that helped them get to their position of power.  He also says that a leader must root out all of the people that used to hold power.  According to Machiavelli, the people that help leaders get to where they are will turn if they are not treated correctly.  This is actually an ethical idea.  Machiavelli knew that a leader, who is not true to those who are true to him, would seek revenge.  Osama bin Laden has certainly rooted out all individuals that used to hold power within circles of terrorist cells.  Osama killed the leader of the Northern Alliance because he was such a strong threat to Osama’s success.  Osama has helped those who have supported him, but he is still ruthless.  He uses the Koran as his basis for terror yet this is an unethical reason for killing innocent people. 

              Machiavelli defended the unethical advice he gave to Medici.  It is supposed to be realistic.  It is supposed to capture what it really takes to achieve political power.  Osama bin Laden definitely understands how realistic this advice is.  Machiavelli wrote that men are mostly bad and commit bad acts.  He also pointed out that if your actions are too good, evildoers will conquer you.  This brings up the cliché, “It’s a dog eat dog world!”  Osama is the evil doer.  He has certainly taken advantage of any good that there is in the world.  When he planned the 9/11 attacks, he took advantage of the naïve security measures that the United States takes.  George W. Bush tried to play the good guy for a long time.  Now he is forced to attack Osama bin Laden and the Al Queda network.  If a political leader is not on the offensive, they will be on the defensive in a short period of time.  It is unethical for the leader to perform these acts, but the rival leader may attack.  Neither side is ethical when this is examined.  Both of the leaders should be seen as unethical.  In the case of George W. Bush, it is not unethical for the U.S. to retaliate.  It is necessary because no retaliation will send the message that terrorism will be feared and accepted.

            Machiavelli wrote that merciful is better than cruel.  He warns that mercy should be used intelligently.  He wrote that it is best to be feared and loved.  If people can love a leader and see that the leader will kill if necessary, the leader may succeed.  Osama bin Laden has definitely taken this to heart.  His people love him and will die for him.  They also know that crossing a line will result in immediate death.  The world fears Bin Laden yet his people love him.  This combination is rarely found.  Adolph Hitler did the same thing during Nazi Germany.  Bin Laden has most likely studied Adolph Hitler’s road to power.  Hitler was also out for personal gain and glory. 

               If Machiavelli was an unethical person, he would have used hearsay and he would not have used facts.  Unethical arguments use false statements and manipulate the truth.  Machiavelli was simply stating the facts.  These facts helped convince Bin Laden that he had the ability to gain political success.  If Machiavelli had not used facts it would have been a rougher road for Bin Laden to climb. The bottom line is, Machiavelli was not unethical, since he did not lie about anything.  The real question is, is it wrong to actually discuss this topic?  Bin Laden has used this book in an unethical manner.  This does not mean that the book should be banned.  Many times people become more motivated after reading it.  Many of my fellow FBI agents have read this book and gained more status within the agency.  Machiavelli had the right to point out past mistakes.  The other question raised, is whether or not it is correct to invade principalities?  The question for Osama bin Laden is whether or not it is ethical to kill innocent people for his own personal glory.  Machiavelli wanted Italy to prosper just as Bin Laden wants personal gratification.  This is why it is wrong for Machiavelli’s The Prince to be used for the purposes that Osama bin Laden has used them for.

            Bin Laden has taken the books and made himself one of the most feared people of all time.  He planned the most horrible act of terrorism on U.S in history.  His narcissism has caused him to want complete world domination and personal glory.  The two books have caused him to achieve the title that he wants, Osama the Prince.  This is the perfect title for a person who wants everyone to follow him.  He wants people to follow him and even die for him.  He achieved this goal and has become the most infamous terrorist of all time.  The world will continue to fear him and the US will search for him.  Osama has achieved his goal of world celebrity.  His insanity has allowed him to want to be well known, even if it is because he is such a horrible person.