Terrorist groups that are religiously oriented usually have the goal of causing as many fatalities as possible to advance the ends of their faith. They rationalize this with a belief that the loss of life becomes inconsequential in the context of the religionís cosmology. This type of thinking may have been used to justify the 1998 bombing of the U.S. embassy in Kenya, which killed far more native inhabitants than Americans, even though Americans were the logical political target. Some extremist religious groups go a step further and hold that all non-believers merit death, so it becomes a moral imperative to execute them.
There are many reasons that account for the terrorist’s inclination to participate in increasingly violent attacks. One reason is that some terrorists relate the rising death tolls to the success of their religious goal, so much so that this objective becomes almost a duty. Additionally, continually improving technology has greatly enhanced the ability of the terrorists to achieve their ends by inflicting death on a much greater scale. Ironically, one of the main goals of religious terrorists is to induce overreaction in their enemies so that the conflict takes on a more intense pace and tone.