A lone wolf but very focused

This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)

lone wolf


Lone wolf terrorism not on the rise, but police, military personnel are top targets, report says

Most ‘lone wolf’ terrorism in the US is perpetrated by “single white males with criminal record,” according to recently released report by Indiana State University. “Compared to members of terrorist groups, lone wolves are older, less educated and more prone to mental illness.”

The study, as reported by  Fierce Homeland Security, found 98 cases fitting the description of lone wolf terrorists between 1940 to 2013 – with a majority of the cases occurring after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Post-9/11 terrorists acting on their own tend to have a greater arsenal of weaponry, involving not only guns, but bombs, airplanes, biological weapons, knives and construction equipment. Before 9/11, they mainly used guns and bombs. Another difference is that post 9/11 lone terrorists are targeting more law enforcement and military personnel. “Twelve law enforcement officers were killed or wounded by lone wolf terrorists in the 60 years preceding 9/11,” the study found. “This figure doubled in the first 13 years following 9/11 and rose to 24.”

All such attacks against law enforcement after 9/11, with one exception, were “motivated by anti-government and white supremacy anger,” over President Obama’s election.

Among many other elements, the report discussed the different motivators and reasons for radicalization and found that post 9/11 these terrorists get radicalized by informal online social networks, civilian workplace and mass media. They also combine personal grievances with political ones. “The end result of radicalization is the same, however,” the report continued. “For both lone wolves and organized terrorists, violence is considered the only alternative to an unjust system.”