Behavioral analysis of ISIS brutality presented in Violence and Gender journal

Posted: December 18, 2014 at 4:41 pm



Contact: Kathryn Ryan 914-740-2100 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc./Genetic Engineering News @LiebertOnline

New Rochelle, NY, December 17, 2014-The Sunni Islamist terror organization known as the Islamic State, or ISIS, uses extreme violence and brutality against anyone it perceives as a threat to its goal of expansion and restoration of an Islamic Caliphate. The significant behavioral aspects of this unparalleled violence and its implications for the future are explored in a compelling Review article published in Violence and Gender, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Violence and Gender website at until January 17, 2015.

In the article "The Violence of the Islamic State of Syria (ISIS): A Behavioral Perspective", coauthors Thomas Neer and Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, both retired FBI Agents, describe the growth of ISIS, its membership, and how gratuitous violence has become the organization's "brand." Other topics discussed in their article include violence and psychopathy, personality traits, use of propaganda, ISIS recruitment methods of young men and women, and strategies to counter ISIS.

These authors bring a unique and important perspective to understanding ISIS - a behavioral perspective. Both Mr. Neer and Dr. O'Toole worked for years as Profilers in the FBI's elite Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU) where they analyzed violent offenders and their crimes. Mr. Neer's perspectives are also based on operational assignments throughout the world where he conducted behavioral and risk assessments of known and suspected terrorists. Dr. O'Toole lends her expertise in psychopathy and psychopathic behaviors of individuals and groups to ISIS leadership.

"ISIS is a global concern on many levels, and its grandiose display of extreme and ruthless violence is stunning," says Violence and Gender Editor-in-Chief Dr. O'Toole. "In this article, my colleague and I provide a behavioral assessment of this dangerous and evolving group comprised largely of young men in a vulnerable age group - late teens and twenties. I am sure you will find this unique and timely perspective both fascinating and enlightening, and extremely relevant for policy development."


About the Journal

Violence and Gender is the only peer-reviewed journal focusing on the understanding, prediction, and prevention of acts of violence. Through research papers, roundtable discussions, case studies, and other original content, the Journal critically examines biological, genetic, behavioral, psychological, racial, ethnic, and cultural factors as they relate to the gender of perpetrators of violence. Led by Editor-in-Chief Mary Ellen O'Toole, PhD, Forensic Behavioral Consultant and Senior FBI Profiler/Criminal Investigative Analyst (ret.), Violence and Gender explores the difficult issues that are vital to threat assessment and prevention of the epidemic of violence. Violence and Gender is published quarterly online with Open Access options and in print, and is the official journal of The Avielle Foundation. Tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Violence and Gender website at

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Behavioral analysis of ISIS brutality presented in Violence and Gender journal

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