Lone Wolf Terrorism
Problem background and significance
In the United States terrorism incidents such as the attack in 1995 in Oklahoma by Timothy McVeigh and the September 11th attack in 2001, have led to the realization that lone wolf terrorism posses a grave threat to the safety of the public. Terrorism analysts and law enforcement authorities have insisted that it is hard to spot lone terrorists before they strike and this is of great threat to the security of a nation. From FBI information it is evident that lone terrorism trends indicate that it is an ongoing risk both in side the United States and outside the country (Risen & Johnston, 2003)
In 2003 the director of the FBI stated that there was an increased threat from persons who are affiliated or sympathetic with the Al Qaeda and they act without having any conspiracies surrounding them or external support. Scholars in the field of terrorism have in the past concentrated on the how terrorist groups work so as to explain how individuals work. The general view of terrorism is that it is a group activity which is mainly influenced by leaders training, recruitment, obedience and conformity, solidarity and moral disengagement. Due to the imbalance that exists between the focus by scholars on terrorism that is group based on one hand and apparent threat posed by lone wolf terrorist on the other hand, necessitates the empirical and conceptual analysis of lone wolf terrorism so as to establish a good understanding of this phenomenon. The extent to which existing explanations of triggers and motivations of terrorism are associated to deeds of lone terrorist is still not clear. This paper therefore seeks to explain the history of lone wolf terrorism, the triggers and motivations of lone wolf terrorisms, the existing counterterrorism measures that can be used in combating lone wolf terrorism, the new trends in the fight against terrorism, and the alternative solutions that exist in the combating lone wolf terrorism.
A lone wolf/ terrorist are persons who are motivated by a terrorist organization or ideology to carryout attacks, with no well-known ties or accountability. Such terrorists are independent of fellow conspirators in carrying out attacks; they may get some support from associates bur conduct and plan the attack individually. In eliminating, minimizing and mitigating the terrorist activities of lone wolf terrorists and autonomous cells it is important to establish what motivates and triggers their actions and how the United States can stop them. The major motivators and triggers can be ideological, political, social psychological, financial or as result of coercion. Therefore, this paper seeks to discuss the triggers in detail so as to incorporate the fight against lone wolf terrorists in the national strategy of combating terrorism.
A greater understanding of the motivations and triggers of spontaneous/lone terrorists and Autonomous Terror Cells will enhance our ability to better minimize, mitigate, or eliminate their violence aimed at the US.
This research will use the problem-solution research methodology. Data and information will be collected and analyzed from scientific studies, government reports and testimony, strategies, professional journals, web based databases and sites, news articles, books, and available counter-terrorism subject matter experts to determine what drives this type of terrorist and how to best combat them. First, known spontaneous or lone terrorists and autonomous terror cells motives and triggers will be...
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