Your Fastest Growing Terror Threat
By: Jeffrey D. Simon, President, Political Risk Assessment Co., Inc.
A new era in terrorism is emerging and the lone wolf is at the forefront.
What is lone wolf terrorism?
Lone wolf terrorism, as the name implies, is the planning or carrying out of a terrorist act as an individual rather than within a group. Examples of lone wolf terrorism are becoming more and more prevalent, from Anders Breivik in Norway, who perpetrated a bombing and mass shooting attack that killed scores of young people, to Nidal Malik Hasan, who is accused of opening fire at a military base in the United States that killed many soldiers and others. Lone wolves have clearly demonstrated that they can be as dangerous as larger, more organized terrorist groups.
Who are these terrorists and what can be done about them?
The backgrounds and motivations of lone wolf terrorists are varied and part of a much longer discussion. One thing is certain, however; the revolutionary technological and information age that we live in is playing into the hands of lone wolves, who can take advantage of the Internet and other technological advances to learn about weapons, targets, extremist ideologies and other key aspects of terrorism. Additionally, topics arise such as why there are few female lone wolves, while there are many females in organized terrorist groups and why lone wolves are potential candidates to use weapons of mass destruction.
What can be done about these terrorists is a complex issue and the types of innovative strategies and policies that can be used to both prevent and respond to this form of violence provide for an thought-provoking discussion – one that needs to happen soon.
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