Preventing Lone Wolf Terrorism: some CT Approaches Addressed

Edwin Bakker, Beatrice de Graaf

Abstract


After a brief discussion of the epistemological and phenomenological difficulties associated with the concept of lone wolf terrorism, a number of possible counter-terrorist approaches are discussed. Lone operator terrorist acts should be considered ‘black swan’ occurrences that are almost impossible to categorize or systematize, let alone forecast. Thus, not the profile of the perpetrator, but the modus operandi offer clues for a better response to this particular threat. Furthermore, almost all lone operators do display a degree of commitment to, and identification with, extremist movements – providing leads for preventing new rounds of radicalization within this potential group of sympathizers or followers. With the apparent increase of Islamist lone wolf terrorism and fears for right-wing extremists wanting to follow the example of the Norwegian mass murderer A.B. Breivik, new questions need to be posed, addressing the role of virtual communities with which lone operators identify themselves. 


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ENHANCING SECURITY THROUGH COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH

Perspectives on Terrorism is  a journal of the Terrorism Research Initiative and the Center for Terrorism and Security Studies

ISSN  2334-3745 (Online)

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