Publication:
A framework for violence: clarifying the role of motivation in lone-actor terrorism

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Authors
Hallgarth, Jacob G.
Subjects
mass murderer
lone-actor terrorist
lone-wolf
grievance-fueled violence
threat management
threat assessment
solo terrorist
solo actor
ideological
Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad
Jared Lee Loughner
loner
solitary offender
lone offender
leaderless resistance
self-motivated terrorist
one-man wolf pack
why terrorists operate alone
social competence
psychopath
violent action
lone-assassin
workplace violence
counterterrorism
ideological grievances
counterterrorism tools
terrorist profile
pre-attack indicators
mental illness and terrorism
homegrown terrorism
Center for Homeland Defense and Security
homegrown violence
terrorist motivation
crime prevention
Routine Activity Theory
terrorism psychopathology
Advisors
Hafez, Mohammed
Date of Issue
2017-03
Date
Mar-17
Publisher
Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School
Language
Abstract
A major goal of the homeland security enterprise is to prevent terrorism in the United States. Federal, state, and local agencies have responded to this challenge with a number of initiatives that have prevented another large-scale network attack since 9/11. Yet terrorism perpetrated by a lone individual, not in direct communication with a larger terrorist network, continues to occur on a regular basis in the United States. Rather than considering lone-actor terrorism a subset of networked terrorism, this thesis considers lone-actor terrorism as a subset of other grievance-fueled violence such as mass murders and workplace violence. Comparing the motivations of the perpetrators using a case study method, this thesis considers the complexities of addressing the key trait of motivation that separates lone-actor terrorism from other forms of lone violence. As a result of this analysis, five key observations—leading to five policy implications—are postulated to provide clarity to the issue of lone-actor terrorism in pursuance of improving prevention methods.
Type
Thesis
Description
Series/Report No
Department
National Security Affairs (NSA)
Other Units
Identifiers
NPS Report Number
Sponsors
Funder
Format
Citation
Distribution Statement
Approved for public release; distribution is unlimited.
Rights
This publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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