Learn about the five concerning factors with this type of terrorism
- There has been a significant rise in individual, unaffiliated terrorist attackers, especially in Western countries. Data from the Global Terrorism Index indicates that the proportion of unaffiliated attacks has surged from under 5% in the mid-1970s to over 70% between 2014 and 2018. This increase reflects a decline in organized far-left political terrorism and a rise in far-right mass or spree shootings, often perpetrated by individuals who were self-radicalized or radicalized primarily via the internet rather than in-person contact with other far-right individuals or groups, according to Vision of Humanity.
- Recent lone wolf attacks have shown a tendency towards far-right ideologies, with many attackers being radicalized online. These attackers often lack formal affiliation with a group, which is in contrast to other types of terrorists, like separatist, far-left, and environmental terrorists, who are more likely to be affiliated with specific groups.
- The challenge in countering lone-wolf terrorism lies in identifying individuals who move from holding extremist views to actively planning an attack. Programs to prevent radicalization face the hurdle of pinpointing these critical tipping points. Additionally, the most difficult lone wolves to deal with are those who act without any apparent motivation, making it harder for law enforcement and intelligence agencies to identify and intercept them before they commit violent acts, according to Homeland Security Today.
- The internet has played a pivotal role in the rise of lone-wolf terrorism. Extremist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS have been able to reach millions of people through online platforms, inspiring individuals toward radicalization and violence.
- Sociological analysis indicates that the rise of lone-wolf terrorism can be linked to factors like the breakdown of social bonds, rising income inequality, collapsing social trust, and a crisis in social norms. Per The New Statesman, the modern lone wolf phenomenon has emerged in declining social interaction and an impoverished civic environment.
Identifying Demographics and Behaviors
According to the Office of Justice Programs, lone wolfs are generally:
- Unemployed, older single white males with a criminal record.
- Less educated and more prone to mental illness.
- Have excessive amounts of firearms.
- Lack of remorse for the welfare of people or animals that are injured or killed.
- Pointed threats online or in person toward members of certain races, nationalities, or sexual orientations.
Want to Learn More About the Lone Wolf?
Take action and learn how to detect, report, and stop lone wolf attacks in America with Tim Dimoff’s presentation, Lone Wolf Terrorism. As a former law enforcement officer, Tim provides unique insight to understand the profile a potential lone wolf will present to family, friends, colleagues, and law enforcement. Contact Tim to schedule your presentation today.