To Fight Lone Wolf Terrorists, Recognize They Are Not Alone

Posted June 29, 2015 at 5:10am

Gabriel Weismann argues that the “lone wolf” label for some acts of terrorism obscures ways thats law enforcement can combat domestic radicalization.  

“The solo terrorists are often recruited, radicalized, trained and directed by others online. The current wave of lone-wolf attacks has been propelled by websites and online platforms that provide limitless opportunities for individuals to explore and locate their virtual pack.”  

“Yet they are traceable because they share common characteristics, despite their varied backgrounds. First, they are not really alone: They are connected online, where they often engage in robust conversations. Across a wide variety of sites and platforms, they can reveal a strong commitment to or identification with extremist movements. In addition, their actions do not take place in a vacuum. Their virtual packs can be monitored and studied. Thorough outreach by law enforcement into radical, extremist and other terrorist communities is another key to find early warnings.”