Date of Conferral





Criminal Justice


Lori Demeter


AbstractBetween March 1977, and February 2020, there have been 78 instances of ideologically motivated murders and attempted murders in the United States. These instances were characterized as individual-based attacks against other individuals and treated as local crime. However, in each instance, there were indications of Islamic religious overtones characterized by Islamic religious utterances made by the attackers. The overall problem addressed in this study was the lack of research on the utterances associated with religiously based autonomous self-actualization resulting in homicides and assaults: jihad applied as street crime. The key research questions are: What are the utterances associated with Islamic-based assaults in the United States? What are the linguistic cues embedded in each utterance associated with Islamic-based assaults in the United States? What is the doctrinal basis for each linguistic cue associated with Islamic-based assaults in the United States? The theoretical framework was the social identity theory, and the conceptual theory and framework was the theory of jihad. This qualitative embedded case study explored utterances recorded in publicly accessible police, court, and other government documents and used NVivo analysis to identify religious themes motivating individuals to action. Results indicated that subjects had actionable understandings of their doctrine and its mandates while the criminal justice system did not. Findings from the study may promote positive social change by being used to expand criminal justice scholarship into Islam's doctrinal texts for the purpose of understanding the origins of conflict. Applications of this new knowledge may improve education, training, investigative practices, and procedures.