The Nation That Cried Lone Wolf : A Data-Driven Analysis of Individual Terrorists in the United States Since 9/11
Eby, Charles A.
Smith, Paul Jonathan
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Lone-wolf terrorist attacks have occurred in the United States throughout the countrys history. Attempted attacks from individual terrorists unaffiliated with terrorist groups may be becoming more prevalent. Both the general public and government officials acknowledge the presence and importance of these attacks; however, relatively little literature exists on the subject compared to group terrorism. Much of the information on lone wolves has been established by case study, inference, and known characteristics of group terrorism. The purpose of this study is to analyze the characteristics of lone-wolf terrorism through formal statistical models. The study then synthesizes data with case study and existing literature to formulate a base of knowledge for lone-wolf terrorism. This study demonstrates that no single dispositional profile of a lone-wolf terrorist exists. The individuals who engage in the tactic of lone-wolf terrorism form a unique ideology that combines personal grievances with common terrorist goals. Still, many lone-wolf cases exhibit certain characteristics. This thesis analyzes these characteristics and their relationship with successful attacks. These data on characteristics, goals, and motivations of lone wolves purport policies to increase engagement between the community and curb lone-wolf terrorism and its effects.
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