An essential aspect of any thriller is creating a villian that is believeable and has the the unique motivation, intellect, varied skills, and resources to successful threaten others through his or her actions. In The Master of Deception, I created a villian, Yassar Kaffi that is well beyond the normal terrorist leader in his education, early life interests, professional success, accumulated wealth, and lifestyle from other villians found in the thriller genre focused on terrorist leaders. Revenge is clearly a villian motivator in vareied thrillers. Yassar motivation is unique in that his obsession for revenge comes through Awb Isaba a strong Omani tradition demanding that an individual reek revenge upon a person or group that harms, dishonors or disgraces their family. Thus his survival and dealing with the tremendous loss of his family after the U.S. cruise missile attack on a wedding in Yemen transforms him into a mastermind villian leader focused solely on terrorizing the United States and her allies.
What do you consider to be the most important criteria for creating a believeable villan?