When forming behavioral and psychosocial components of terrorism and terror groups, several factors emerge. According to Vilchez (2014), suicide bombers, ISIS, Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab, and the majority of Al Qaeda's affiliates all have unique and different motivations, concepts, and purposes for participating in terrorist acts. All terrorist organizations hold diverse factors responsible for their objectives (Vilchez, 2014).

Furthermore, good leadership has improved and facilitated their operations and activities. This has been accomplished through the employment of dependable, sufficient, and efficient tools and approaches by leaders on a constant basis. In his study Crenshaw (2014) confirms that these devices are identified as religion, social media, lavish lifestyles, and next generation (children). Moreover, Vilchez (2014) elaborates that for Al Qaeda and its affiliate groups not only do they apply such tools but they also have increased technology inventions to increase production of better devices (Crenshaw, 2014). For example, before his death, Osama had started using electronic bombing machines to attack its enemies. Therefore, this essay would focus on Osama Bin Laden by comparing and contrasting his ability to enhance communication and influence upon his affiliates and audience until his demise in 9/11 (Vilchez, 2014).

Comparing and Contrasting Laden's Ability of Communication and Influence

Until his demise on 9/11, Osama has been the leader of the Al Qaeda and one of the most wanted terrorists in the globe by groups and individuals who upholds humanity and life (Crenshaw, 2014). Additionally, Vilchez (2014) admits that the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has established several investigations and search for Osama. But after the extensive research and killing of the most wanted, there occur the signs of relief across the globe. But before his death, Osama's vision focused on attacking America. According to Crenshaw (2014), Bin Laden believed that the USA is a moral nation full of drug abuse and alcohol, gambling and sexuality. As a result, Osama formed the Al Qaeda group with several sub-groups and initiated attacks on the American nation and its allies (Vilchez, 2014). Bin Laden successfully achieves this by using various tools and mechanisms to communicate and influence his followers and the affiliate groups. These approaches are similar and differ with other terror groups such as Boko Haram, Al-Shabaab as described in the next sub-headings (Crenshaw, 2014).

Comparing Bin Laden's Ability to communicate and Influence on Affiliate Groups

Several terror groups employ almost similar communication mechanisms. Joscelyn (2013) outlines that terrorist systems of communication are structured and believed to emerge from the highest hierarchy level (effective leadership). The ability of terror leaders to communicate and exert pressure on their followers has currently been facilitated by the increased use of social media. Osama and other terror leaders use social sites such as Facebook accounts, twitter, cybersecurity systems, and cloud computing technology to communicate and exert pressure on their affiliate groups. Crenshaw (2014) argues that like al-Shabaab, Boko Haram, and ISIS leaders who employ the use of social media, Osama Bin Laden established several cyber-commands and cloud computing systems within his private places and in nations across the globe. This has made it easy for him to communicate, strategize, plan, influence, and launch attacks on various countries.

Many terror groups believe in religion as a unifying factor among the youths and citizens. Therefore, Vilchez (2014) confirms that religion such as Muslims and Buddhism are used by terrorist leader for effective communication and exerting pressure on the followers and other groups. Similarly, in his study Crenshaw (2014) elaborates that Osama uses religion to recruit more members into his terror groups. Moreover, Bin Laden believes in the acts of Jihadist as a religious act that supports terror activities. As a result, his communication and pressure were highly absorbed and implemented by the Al Qaeda members and other affiliate groups. According to Joscelyn (2013), similar mechanisms that Osama employed to increase the levels of communication include using the next generation (children) to adopt the beliefs, traditions, and traits of Al Qaeda groups. By using the children, Osama believed that there would always be a continuation of the team.

Contrasting Bin Laden's Ability to Communication and Influence

For the integrity of his operations and attacks on the enemies, Osama uses different techniques to enhance communication and control over his affiliates. According to Crenshaw (2014), Osama believed in understanding his audience to be the essential rule for successful communication. This differs from other leaders of terror groups such as ISIS who do not have an adequate understanding of the audience. But Osama believed in this principle and took it to heart and successfully increased his communication strategy and systems within IRAQ, Afghanistan, Somalia, USA, and other nations across the globe. However, Vilchez (2014) argues that Bin Laden was shrewdly investigated by several firms for using different concepts in his message regarding America. Unlike other terror groups and their leaders, Osama's Al Qaeda team is secretively distributed and very amorphous despite challenges of channeling it to different objectives. But Osama managed to establish and instill codes of conduct, discipline, and understanding in the group. This made it easy for Osama to control and continuously dominate over his followers (Joscelyn, 2013). But the fundamental way in which he managed this was through establishing religious and social legitimization. This made his communities believe in his team and operations.


Terror groups are considered to be influenced by psychological and behavioral factors. There are several terror groups with common goals in various nations. For example, ISIS, AL Qaeda believes in a continuous attack on America as their primary objective. Moreover, terrorist groups have effective leadership that ensures successful operations and activities. But for Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden until his death has been the key leader. Osama used different tools and mechanisms to enhance communication and exert pressure on his followers. For example, he used religion, next generation (children), social sites to increase the integrity of the connection. Significantly Osama relied on religious and social legitimization to secure his means of operations and activities within different communities. Therefore, I compare Osama to involve similar devices used by other terror groups to facilitate communication. But I contrast Bin Laden to other leaders by using legitimization as a principle of communication and exerting pressure on his affiliate teams.



Crenshaw, M. (2014). The Long View of Terrorism. Current History, 113(759), 40.

Joscelyn, T. (2013). Global al Qaeda: Affiliates, objectives, and future challenges. The Long War Journal, 18.

Vilchez, C.S. (2014). What Are We Talking About When We Talk About Al-Qaeda. Journal of the Spanish Institute for Strategic Studies, (4).

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