Centre for Land Warfare Studies New Delhi

Manekshaw Paper No. 69, 2017
KW Publishers Pvt Ltd
New Delhi
Centre for Land Warfare Studies
New Delhi
Centre for land warfare studies
victory through vision
Major Akshat Upadhyay
Anatomy of Lone Wolf Terrorism:
Special Emphasis on Countering Violent
ISSN 23939729
Centre for land warfare studies
victory through vision
Centre for Land Warfare Studies
RPSO Complex, Parade Road, Delhi Cantt, New Delhi 110010
Phone: +91.11.25691308 Fax: +91.11.25692347
email: [email protected] website: www.claws.in
CLAWS Army No. 33098
The Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi, is an autonomous think-tank dealing
with national security and conceptual aspects of land warfare, including conventional and
sub-conventional conflicts and terrorism. CLAWS conducts research that is futuristic in outlook
and policy-oriented in approach.
© 2017, Centre for Land Warfare Studies (CLAWS), New Delhi
Disclaimer: The contents of this paper are based on the analysis of materials accessed from open
sources and are the personal views of the author. The contents, therefore, may not be quoted or
cited as representing the views or policy of the Government of India, or Integrated Headquarters
of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) (Army), or the Centre for Land Warfare Studies.
Published in India by
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KW Publishers Pvt Ltd
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Editorial Team
Editor-in-Chief : Lt Gen Balraj Nagal
Managing Editor : Ms Neelapu Shanti
1. Introduction 1
2. Structural Analysis 12
3. Solutions 17
4. Conclusion 21
5. References 22

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Anatomy of Lone Wolf Terrorism
Anatomy of Lone Wolf Terrorism:
Special Emphasis on Countering Violent
The running over of two on-duty soldiers in Canada, the massacre of 77
people in Norway, the mass shooting of 13 soldiers in Texas, a failed attempt
to blow up Times Square in New York City, the decapitation of a British
soldier in London and many such incidents are portents of an emerging,
though not novel, form of terrorism. This phenomenon, also known as ‘lone
wolf’ terrorism or ‘home grown’ terrorism, fuelled by the unhindered capacity
of the social media in terms of networking, anonymity and propaganda
dissemination, has left law enforcement agencies foxed and policy-makers
struggling to identify common linkages, pinpoint causal factors and, thereby,
come forth with a strategy to counter the threat.
What exactly is ‘lone wolf’ terrorism? What are the reasons for its
evolution? How are these supposed ‘lone wolves’ identified? Is lone wolf
terrorism really generated by itself, in isolation, as most analysts tend to
believe, or is there a need to relook at some of the core societal issues
to understand this phenomenon? What is the role of the social media in
the proliferation of ‘lone wolf’ attacks across the world? How is it that an
organisation like the Islamic State (IS) is able to indirectly influence foreigners
in their own homeland to conduct attacks on their brethren? With the help
of various case studies, the author will attempt an explanation to all the
abovementioned questions.
Terror, legally and technically, has numerous meanings and a context has
to be provided to bring out its situational relevance. However, for this article,
we may define terror as “the unlawful use of force or violence against
persons or property in order to coerce or intimidate a government or
the civilian population in furtherance of political or social objectives.”1
This definition, to an extent, limits the cases that may be treated as terror
incidents. Since what we have laid out is a contextual definition, we may ask:
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why are fratricides, daylight robberies, random stabbings or an extraordinary
amount of violence being faced by the common man, not perceived as
terrorism and classified as merely criminal/ homicidal acts? These incidents,
too, create fear though may be for the person affected and his near family,
and through the media, the local community. To classify any incident as
terrorism, the intent and perception are important, and the nature of the
act should be political. However, most critical is the narrative being spun,
that of a third person, an alien, an unknown out to destroy ‘us’, someone
who doesn’t like ‘us’, our ‘freedom’ or ‘way of life’. Seen in this frame
of reference, the events mentioned in this paragraph are considered to
be mere crimes, localised in nature, often with mal-intent but not an allencompassing objective of creating a fear psychosis in a broad chunk of the
population. The narrative remains local. Terrorism is externalisation in the
form of events creating big-bangs, causing huge damage to a multitude of
lives and, most importantly, undertaken by ‘them’, the terrorists. It becomes
relatively simple to blame ‘the others’ for striking fear, for foreign ideologies.
Personalities such as Osama bin Laden, Leila Khaled and organisations like
Hamas, Al Qaeda and today’s Islamic State (IS) become the figureheads of
terror. But what happens when the home nation itself is converted into
the new battlefield? The renewed threat of lone wolf terrorism has to be
understood in terms of the post 1979 scenario.
The term ‘lone wolf’ terrorism was popularised by white supremacists
Tom Metzger and Alex Curtis in the 1990s who believed it comprised
underground or small cell activities continuously targeting the government
in anonymous attacks.2
A formal definition of lone wolf terrorism is, “The
threat or use of violence by a single perpetrator (or small cell), not acting
out of personal material reasons, with the aim of influencing a wider
audience, and who acts without any direct support in the planning,
preparation and execution of the attack, and whose decision to act
is not directed by any group or other individuals (although possibly
inspired by others).”3 According to Professor Mark Hamm of Indiana State
University, an expert on lone wolf attacks, a lone wolf is “someone who
acts alone without the help or encouragement of a government or a
terrorist organisation, who acts without the direction or leadership of
a hierarchy, someone who designs the plan and the methods by himself
without any sort of outside support, and who acts totally alone without
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the support of any second individual or third individual.”4 Rafaello
Pantucci, in fact, goes further and categorises these attackers into four groups:
loner (acts alone, no connection with any extremist group), lone wolf (appears
to act alone, some level of contact with extremists), lone wolf pack (group of
individuals who are self-radicalised, but have not yet established contact with
extremist groups) and, finally, the lone attacker (individual who acts alone but
has clear command and control links with an extremist group).5
One of the most important strategic thinkers of the extremist movement
Abu Musab al-Suri (real name: Mustafa Setmariam Nasar) evolved the concept
of ‘leaderless jihad’ whose starting point was his belief that Al Qaeda was more
than a group or a terrorist organisation.6
It was a methodology, a reference
point and a call to arms to all Muslims to attack Western targets in small
self-organising, loosely connected cells, without any defined hierarchy. The
9/11 attacks were supposed to be a clarion call for such a mass mobilisation
that would force the end of Western support for Middle Eastern dictators,
collapsing their regimes, expediting the establishment of Shariah-run states,
and culminating in the establishment of a Caliphate, bin Laden’s ultimate aim.
This was termed by al-Suri as Nizam la Tanzim or System not Organisation.7
Lone wolf terrorism has become enmeshed with this ideology.
One of the major differences between lone wolf terrorism (also known by
its synonyms: leaderless resistance or jihad, individual terrorism or freelance
terrorism) and organised group terrorism is that attacks by groups such
as Al Qaeda are primary-level attacks, in that they are a direct result of
the political intention of these groups. This intent may range from targeting
the ‘far enemy’ to the establishment of a Caliphate. Lone wolf attacks are
secondary-level and tertiary-level attacks, conducted by individuals
influenced by direct interaction with members of these groups, inside the
country or while travelling abroad, and indirectly, through sermons, news,
the internet, audio, video or literature respectively. Lone wolves are also
different from sleeper cells as they are not embedded into the society by an
organisation for a particular purpose, to be activated later. They are already
a part of the society and have multiple paths to radicalisation, some being
self-radicalised through the internet or available literature, some through
guidance from abroad or direct contact with a member of the numerous
radical organisations. Again, a clear distinction has to be made between
individuals who are part of an extremist group but carry out their acts alone
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such as the shoe bomber Richard Reid, and individuals who carry out their
act alone, influenced by groups or their action or propaganda but are not
part of any hierarchical structure of a terrorist organisation. This article
specifically focusses on the latter cases.
Lone wolf terrorism has taken on such dark hues that it was classified
by the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI’s) Strategic Plan of 2005-09 as
the most significant domestic threat to the US.8
The United States Senate
Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, in a report,
titled “Violent Islamic Extremism, the Internet and the Homegrown
Terrorist Threat”, has labelled the homegrown extremist attack as one that
will remain a threat to the United States and US interests overseas.9 A total
of 198 cases of such attacks were reported in the US, Europe, Canada and
Australia combined between 1940 and 2010, with 98 occurring in the United
States from 1940 and 2013. Out of these, 38 occurred pre 9/11, while 60
post 9/11.10 A broad sampling of these cases would be examined and their
peculiarities pointed out which could assist law agencies in understanding
Islamic terrorism’s latest and most potent arsenal.
In order to discern points of commonality amongst the various lone wolf
attack cases across the years, it is required to cast as wide a net as possible.
The author has studied and analysed 22 cases of lone wolf attacks spanning
two decades, ranging from Baruch Goldstein in 1995 to Dylan Roof in 2015.
The ideologies that are supposedly the motivations for these attacks are also
varied, from white supremacism to jihad to Zionism. The maximum number
of countries and continents have been represented. After a thorough analysis,
a number of apparent causative elements have been culled which have to be
subsumed under a number of structural heads, in order to be understood
properly, and the relevant courses of action decided. These are listed below:
y Multi-culturalism vs Assimilation: The United States is, in a cliched
terminology, known as a ‘land of migrants’ and a ‘melting pot’ of cultures.
There is an effort inside the country to integrate all immigrants within
an overarching ‘American’ culture, with an almost mandatory learning of
English and adoption of ambiguous ‘American’ values. Also, persecution,
based on ethnicity, race and religion has occurred on a not-so-rare basis
in the US, starting from the Afro-American agitations and the subsequent
violence by the Black Panthers in the 1960s and 1970s, the knee-jerk
incarceration of a majority of Muslims in the wake of the September 11
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attacks11 to the recent spate of targeting of black teenagers/ young adults
by the police.12 This perception of undermining of own culture and forceful
assimilation has created disillusionment and anger in a few members of
the minority communities. This anger is being conditioned and directed
against the homeland by various agencies and individuals. On the other
hand, Europe is suffering from the liberal notions of multi-culturalism.
Burdened by an acute manpower crisis in the wake of the destructive
World War II, Europe invited and coerced hordes of workers, especially
from North Africa and the Middle East, to rejuvinate its economy. There
was an effort to integrate these workers within the working culture of
the country, which may or may not have fructified to the extent needed.
A case in point is that of Mohd Merah, a second generation French
Algerian whose mother was married to Sabri Essid who tried to send
fighters to Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).13 His brother, Abdulkader Merah,
was connected with a Belgian-based jihadist recruitment network that
sent Belgian and French militants to Iraq via Cairo.14 His sister Souad
Merah fled to Syria where her partner joined Islamist forces.15 Since his
childhood, Mohd Merah was fed a steady diet of his distinct identity as
a Muslim, rather than a Frenchman by his family.16 This was reinforced
by the time he spent in jail. An idea, a notion that limits the integration
of various communities with the native population within a nation-state
and promotes cultural isolation, multi-culturalism has resulted in the
formation of pseudo ‘ghettos’ near major urban centres in most European
Union (EU) countries such as Molenbeek near Brussels, the capital of
Belgium. Molenbeek acted as a transit point for the perpetrators of the
Paris attacks as well as the Brussels suicide bombings in 2016.17 Merah’s
neighbourhood, Les Izards has been ignored by the French authorities
for long, and is known for its discrimination against Arabs.18 This has also
created opportunities for radicalism to inch its way into the psyche of
countless unemployed young men like Merah, thriving on state welfare
benefits, as they feel alienated from a government and a people they
don’t identify with.
y Perception of Government Policies: Mohd Merah’s attacks in
Toulouse and the nearby town of Montauban in March 2012 were to
protest against France’s recently passed law banning full-face covering in
public places and the presence of a French contingent in Afghanistan as
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part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).19 His sister, in
fact, stated on record that she was proud of her brother’s martyrdom.20
Faisal Shehzad’s reason for parking an SUV filled with explosives in New
York’s Times Square was in revenge for the drone killings of his people
in Pakistan.21 Arid Uka killed two US servicemen at Frankfurt airport
in Germany on March 2, 2011, to prevent more US soldiers going to
Afghanistan and raping Muslim women.22 Most of the attackers have
cited Western military presence in Afghanistan and Iraq as reasons for
their acts. In fact, when a Jordanian pilot, Moaz al-Kasabeh, was shot
down and captured by the IS, the militants connected the Jordanian
jet and, hence, the Jordanian regime, with mass casualties of the Syrian
Muslim population and proceeded to burn him alive. The IS has justified
its attacks on the citizens of Western nations, on the fact that these
civilians have voted their respective governments to power. Variants of
this belief can be found in the rhetoric of almost all the militant Islamist
groups. IS agitprop in the form of an apocalyptic final battle between
the armies of Islam and the armies of ‘Rome’ in the nondescript town of
Dabiq, Syria, has accentuated the perception of all these acts being done
in the fulfilment of this prophecy.23
y Financial Distress and Criminal Background: Anders Breivik lost
two million kroner in the stock market when he was 18 years old.24
Michael Zihaf-Bibeau who attacked the Canadian Parliament building in
Ottawa on October 22, 2014, was a habitual offender with an extensive
criminal record, who lived in a homeless shelter.25 Dzhokhar Tsarnaev,
younger of the Boston Marathon bombing brother duo, was a cannabis
dealer.26 The Tsarnaev family survived on food stamps and government
welfare27. Amine el Khalifi, accused of attempted suicide bombing of
Capitol Hill in the US was indicted on charges of possession of marijuana,
and traffic violations.28 Faisal Shehzad, a financial analyst in the US, was
from a wealthy Pakistani family, his father being a retired Air Vice Marshal
in the Pakistan Air Force.29 However, a collapsing housing market and his
inability to pay his mortgage, led to growing desperation and a feeling of
loathing towards his adopted country. He began to look for reasons to
blame the US and homed on the drone strikes in his native country, to
vent his anger.30 Antonio Martinez aka Mohd Hussein was a construction
worker who was preemptively arrested by the Joint Terrorism Task
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Force (JTTF) for trying to blow up an Armed Forces Recruiting Station in
Catonsville, Maryland.31 Most of these young men had had brushes with
the law or were in financial distress or stuck in low paying jobs that led
them to blame the government and its policies.
y Psychological Profile: A majority, though not all of the cases studied,
had suffered abuse at the hands of their parents during their childhood,
had breakdowns, were mentally unbalanced, had gone through a tough
phase in life or were conditioned through contact with their supposedly
devout families. Yonathan Melaku, an Ethiopian-American, who was
arrested for firing shots at the National Museum of the Marine Corps
and two military recruiting centres in Fall 2010, was diagnosed with
schizophrenia.32 One of the Beltway snipers, John Allen Mohammad was
engaged in a bitter custody battle with his wife for the custody of his
three children. He had earlier served in the First Gulf War which may
have left him traumatised.33 Philip Michael Ibrahim aka Isa Ibrahim, who
was arrested by the British police for trying to assemble a home-made
bomb in Bristol, was always in the shadow of his successful elder brother
who had gone to Oxford, bar school and finally a US firm in London. Isa,
on the other hand, was overweight, hopped schools frequently, smoked
cannabis from the age of 12, had no sporting ability, and was branded a
loser by his classmates. He experimented with expensive drugs such as
cocaine and mushrooms, took up body building and injected himself with
steroids.34 Jason Naser Abdo, convicted of plotting to bomb a restaurant
popular with soldiers from Fort Hood, Texas, had a traumatic childhood.
His parents divorced when he was three. His father, a Jordanian
immigrant, was convicted of soliciting a minor on the internet, served
three years in jail and was deported back to Jordan.35 Jose Pimentel,
arrested for attempting to build pipe bombs to target the police and
troops returning from Afghanistan was considered mentally unstable by
the police department.36 Mohd Merah tried to commit suicide by hanging
and was diagnosed with polar narcissistic disorder.37 Maj Nidal Hasan’s
father died in 1998. This loss was hard on him and he dedicated himself
to Islam and frequented the Dar al Hijrah Islamic Centre in Falls Church,
Virginia, where he came into contact with Anwar al-Awlaki.38 Personal
crisis and faith are seen to be two very important factors in egging on
potential lone wolf attackers. They are at a crisis moment in their lives
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and embrace a radical ideology that resonates with them. Due to a
probable absence of an emotional support structure, these people latch
on to a community of perceived supporters. Study of these individuals
also suggests that there is a inclination among psychologically imbalanced
or substance abuse cases to believe the propaganda being spewed by
different groups, in the form of the internet or audio or video clippings,
due to their disassociation from logical reasoning and in sync with their
distorted view of world events.
y Travel Abroad: The claim that the internet is the major reason for the
self-radicalisation of lone wolf attackers is giving the internet too much
credit. The role of the internet, especially the social media, has been
prominent in the recent years, but it cannot equal the exhilaration felt
on physical contact with the supposed mentors. Radicalisation cannot
take place inside a vacuum. Travelling abroad and making contact with
the representatives of groups fighting for the umma, against the kuffars
creates a perspective that no online lesson can match. Mohd Merah was
placed under surveillance after a visit to Egypt in 2009, made two trips to
Pakistan and Afghanistan, and was arrested in Kandahar in 2010.39 Andrew
Ibrahim tried to be a scholar in Yemen but failed. Abdelhakim Mujahid
Mohd, convicted of killing one soldier and injuring another at the Armed
Forces Recruiting Centre in Little Rock, Arkansas, in 2009, visited Yemen
in 2007 and stayed in the country for 16 months, even marrying a local
schoolteacher, Reena Abdullah Ahmed Faraz.40 During his incarceration,
he claimed to have known people who showed him around in Yemen and
helped him to get started. He even tried to go to Somalia for explosives
training.41 Khalid Ali Al-Dowsri, convicted for attempting to construct an
Improvised Explosive Device (IED), was a Saudi national who had come
to the US for his studies.42 He had planned to carry out attacks against
the US long before he came to the country, indicating the inception
of a psychosis in his home country, possibly within his family or peers.
Faisal Shehzad made multiple trips to Pakistan and claimed to have been
trained on explosives and weapons in Waziristan between July 7 and
22, 2009.43 One of the duo of the San Bernardino shootout, a Pakistani
permanent resident of the US, Tashfeen Malik, attended the al-Huda
International Seminary in Pakistan, known for its teaching of Wahhabi
Sunni Islam and propagation of hardline anti-Western views.44 The elder
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of the Tsarnaev brothers, Tamerlan travelled to Russia, spent time in
Chechnya (Dagestan) and may have been radicalised there, though this
fact remains uncorroborated.45 Taimur Abdelwahab al Abdaly, who blew
himself up during bombing attempts in Stockholm in 2010, went to Syria
in 2008 to train in explosives.46 He also spent time as a student in Luton,
England, which is home to a large number of Islamic extremists. This
is the same place where the perpetrators of the 7/7 attacks assembled
before going to London.47 With a huge influx of refugees into Turkey and
the countries of the EU, and individuals returning from Iraq and Syria to
their home nations, the increasing probability of lone wolf attacks cannot
be ruled out.
y Immigrants and Age Profile: Even a perfunctory look at the case
studies will reveal that almost all the lone wolf attackers were either
young men (between the ages of 20 and 30), first or second generation
immigrants or a mix of both. Baruch Goldstein, the Israeli reserve Major
who massacred 29 Palestinian Arabs in February 1994, had migrated to
the country from the US.
48 Maj Nidal Hasan was the son of Palestinian
immigrants who had migrated to the US from the West Bank.49 Dzhokhar
and Tamerlan Tsarnaev were of Krygyzstani descent. They were 20 and
27 years old respectively.50 Michael Zihaf-Bibeau’s father was Bulgasem
Zihaf, a Libyan national who fought in 2011 in Libya against the Qaddafi
regime.51 Syed Rizwan Farook, of the notorious San Bernardino terror
couple, was an American citizen of Pakistani origin while his wife was
a permanent resident of Pakistani origin, who spent most of her life in
Saudi Arabia, and their age profiles hovered in the late 20s and early
30s.52 Amine el Khalifi was a 23-year-old Moroccan citizen who had
come to the US on a visitor’s visa at the age of 16 and had settled in
Virginia as an illegal immigrant after the expiry of his visa in 1999.53 Faisal
Shehzad was a 31-year-old naturalised citizen of Pakistani origin. Taimur
Abdelwahab al Abdaly was an Iraqi born Swedish citizen.54 Jose Pimentel
aka Mohd Yusuf was a naturalised American citizen from the Dominican
Republic.55 Arid Uka was a 21-year-old Albanian born German citizen.56
Though there have been native lone wolf attackers also, such as Timothy
McVeigh and Dylann Roof, among many others, an overwhelming
majority are either religious converts or first or second generation
immigrants. Virtually all are in the age group of 20 to 30. According to
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the late Prof Ernest Gellner,57 an expert on nationalism, modernisation
is a phenomenon that is characterised by a break in family ties and a
distancing from roots, the major support structures of humans, followed
by an insertion into an industrial culture that favours such a zeitgeist to
enable it to condition the workers according to its needs. When these
support structures break, whether in the face of a real or perceived
cultural assault by a ‘foreign’ power, human beings tend to turn towards
whatever comforts them. With the West’s emphasis on individualism,
and a very different familial structure (based on either tribes or extended
or joint families) for the immigrants, most of these individuals turn to the
nearest thing to a community. This can be either the family in the case of
n-order immigrants or a motley of local clerics, mosque sermons, online
friends, audio clippings, videos and online literature. This is a handy tool
for instigation.
y Role of the Media:Media, in its various manifestations of the written
word, spoken word, images or a treasure trove of online material has
made ‘radicalisation’ accessible to an audience, which, a few years earlier
had to either attend gatherings of local clerics, mosque sermons or forage
for literature from the local markets. Satellite channels beaming 24 hours
of non-stop ‘infotainment’ have, in collusion with the high speed internet,
changed forever the way people interact with each other. Groups like
Al Qaeda (AQ) realised the potential of the internet long ago. After the
diversification and expansion of AQ through its various affiliates, the
AQ High Command (AQHC) used As-Sahab, Al Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb (AQIM) used the Media Commission, while Al Qaeda in the
Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) used the Sawt-al-Jihad regional production
centres.58 These were responsible for producing relevant propaganda
material which was then sent to a clearing house, the Al Fajr Media
Centre, in this case, responsible for sorting out the data and maintaining
its veracity and stamping the data with its icon/logo to distinguish it from
others and possible fakers.59 This material was then posted to specific
forums such as al Ekhlaas, al Buraq and al Firdauss.60 Despite all these
efforts, the major drawback of AQ was its elitist approach towards the
distribution of propaganda using specialised forums and chatrooms. By
the time it had grasped the power of the social media (Inspire online
magazine by AQAP and extensive use of Twitter by al Shabaab), the
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Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) had exploded on the scene. Online
behavioural change mechanics can be explained by the following
The inherent dichotomy between individuals’ interactions with the physical
world and the digital domain leads to a rupture in their psyche, the intensity
differing from person to person. For some, suffering from an identity void,
personal loss, professional dissatisfaction or any of a plethora of factors that
induce disorientation, a hook-on mechanism is activated that forces them to
look for social synonyms either in the physical vicinity or their digital personal
space. Since social media platforms are digital manifestations of peer groups,
the individuals start associating with like-minded people who share in their
grief, add to their paranoia of the ‘Big Brother’ and condition them towards
a comity of supporters, a team, a digitally well defined support structure. This
commonality, when stoked in favour of a particular ideology, transforms a
man into a believer, who considers himself part of an organisation that backs
him up in all circumstances.
Initially based on discussion forums, the ISIS progressed to posting links
of chatrooms on Facebook and Twitter at a dizzying speed. The ISIS also
harnessed the power of the ‘Dark Net’ using passwords, authentication and
membership numbers to verify its members.61 Its longest shadow, however,
fell on Twitter where its members started using ‘Twitter bombs’ such as
#AllEyesOnISIS and #CalamityWillBefallUS and hijacking trending
topics like #Brazil_2014 to grab eyeballs.62 By the fall of 2014, there were
45,000 verifiable ISIS Twitter accounts, of which 73 per cent had more than
500 followers, while others had upto 50,000.63 ISIS technicians also developed
fairly complex coding techniques, coming out with an App on Google Play
Store called ‘Dawn of Glad Tidings’.64 The most interesting and appealing
part of its internet blitzkrieg was the use of live ‘tweeting’ during the fighting
when the location, photos, names of martyrs and active fighters, and the
status of the clashes enabled its technicians to announce the steady progress
of the ISIS war machine.65 The ISIS used aerial drone photography and 360
degree Go Pro cameras in collaboration with High Definition (HD) video
recording and a raconteur-like narrative to increase its appeal to all kinds
of people.66 Though the major attraction of videos such as ‘Clanging of
Swords IV’ was brutality, the other themes also visible in the various videos
were mercy, victimhood, war, belonging and utopianism.67 A detailed study
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of the videos shows that there is no ‘one size fits all’ propaganda by the ISIS
which carefully constructs multiple narratives for potential opponents, the
international public, active members, potential recruits, disseminators and
proselytisers. In order to attract women to its fold, the ISIS has also founded
the Zora Foundation which is a media wing for luring women, and currently
has around 32,000 followers.68 Apart from the social media onslaught, the
ISIS has five centralised propaganda units, which are:
y Al Furqan Foundation: Delivers official statements and concentrates
on military warfare.
y Al Itisan Foundation: Social and religious activities.
y Al Hayat Media Centre.
y Al Bayan Radio.
y Amaq News Agency.
Through its effective mix of political propaganda, nasheeds, video game
type shooting videos, streamlined narrative, storyteller format, HD graphics
and revocations to the Koran, the ISIS has constructed an image of the
counter-cultural ‘jihadi-cool’, which is difficult to combat by conventional
government narratives.
Structural Analysis
All the above mentioned factors have been culled retrospectively from
studying the aftermath of the events. No amount of computer-based
modelling or academic intuiting has been able to pin-point the exact reasons
for these acts of lone-wolf terrorism or helped to prevent it. The onus for
securing soft targets in a country cannot be on the security forces/ agencies
only, as the sheer number of people and places to be protected is massive and
beyond the purview of the armed forces, which are generally responsible for
external security and are, therefore, extra-enemy focussed and area specific,
or of the local security agencies which are more information dependent
and rarely act preemptively. It is, therefore, necessary to go beyond what is
visible and look at structural factors to focus on, and target, the root causes
and not the persons responsible, as focussing on the latter is not possible,
and neglecting the former will ensure that the plague of lone wolf terrorism
will remain the bane of civilised societies. The following are the structural
factors responsible:
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y Structural Violence: This term was used by Johann Galtung when he
referred to it as “some social or structura/ institution that may harm people by
preventing them from meeting their basic needs”. Structural violence differs
from direct violence in that the presence of physical causality is not a
prerequisite in structural violence. In the context of lone wolf terrorism,
direct violence is manifested in the terrorist act itself. In defining structural
violence, the basic needs are those urges whose satisfaction is necessary
for human survival. While food, money and physical security may seem to
be the obvious needs, social identity or affiliation or a ‘place in the society’
is an oft-ignored basic need that ranks on the lower rung but is among
the paramount causes which give rise to structural violence. Ambiguity in
identity of the self is a specific product of the modern industrial society.
At the inception of the capitalist industrial society, this floating-identity
syndrome was put to good use for the generation of labour power. But
with the saturation of the world markets in the post-classical imperialism
era, this led to trained manpower employed wastefully or redundantly
in various ‘sectors’. An identity crisis coupled with an economic crisis
was the logical conclusion. The turnover year was 1979. In terms of
precedence, we will start with two sub-structural factors responsible for
a dissonance in identity in the Middle East, particularly, and the Muslim
world, in general.
y The Ascendance of Saudi Arabia and the Epoch of 1979: 1979 was a
watershed year in world history. Two events changed forever the
way the Middle East would be viewed. The Iranian revolution of 1979
brought to power a Shia dominated theocracy in a Sunni dominated
region, while the invasion of Afghanistan by the erstwhile Soviet
Union in December 1979, ostensibly to support an ailing Communist
regime, was used by the US to enlist the help of Islamist regimes to
counter Communism.70 The Saudis, the main sponsors of the Islamist
extremist ideology, Wahhabism, across the world, and anxious about
a similar uprising in their repressed Shia minority regions, pumped
in millions of dollars into the region, while foreign fighters from all
over the world joined what was being advertised as a global jihad.71
An Islamist counterweight to Communism enabled the US to push
the Soviets out of Afghanistan in 1989, however, the country was
soon forgotten, the countless men trained in irregular warfare, with
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no place to go and no more infidel enemy to fight, and now divided
into rigid and impermeable ideological factions.72 One of these
factions became the core of Al Qaeda under Osama bin Laden who,
encouraged by the success of the Mujahideen, instituted the concept
of a global Caliphate, to be later harped on by Al-Baghdadi of ISIS
notoriety. Infused and enthused with Wahhabi ideology which was
given a fillip and a wider audience by the Saudis post the Afghan War
through media outreach and publishing, construction of mosques
that preached Wahhabism, distribution of Wahhabi textbooks and
endowments to universities and cultural centres, countless youth
from the developing and developed countries took part in varied
conflicts such as in Yugoslavia, Chechnya, Somalia, Sudan and
Kashmir, all of which were now perceived to be connected to the
global ummah.73 1979 became the excuse that Saudi Arabia needed
to promote its theo-fascist version of Islam.
y Poverty and Underdevelopment: There are two parallel strands that
explain why most of the recent terror attacks have been carried
out by immigrants and the sense of discrimination felt by most first
or second generation immigrants across most of the developed
world. It has to be understood that there is a large scale programme
of radicalisation being funded by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in
terms of millions of dollars invested in the construction of mosques.
The most recent example is the Saudi offer to build more than 200
mosques for immigrants in Germany, instead of offering refuge.74
However, most of the radicalisation has been funded covertly through
‘missionary’ and ‘Islamic charity organisations’, with the ostensible
support of the Sunni Gulf monarchies.75 A substantial part of it has
been targeted towards poor countries in the form of extremist
madrassas, approved by local politicians who receive kickbacks for
a positive nod.76 Most of the Third World countries are suffering
from underdevelopment, a condition of siphoning of resources and
finances through ‘free-market’ procedures such as lowering of tariff
barriers for imports, reducing subsidies for exports, intellectual
property rights and patents being a few of them.77 This has resulted
in a large imbalance, between the ‘haves’ and ‘have-nots’, resulting in
poverty, illiteracy and malnutrition. In many places in poor Muslim
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countries, there is no alternative to a madrassa option. Poverty is
exploited to the hilt to promote extremism. The second is the process
of underdevelopment perpetrated by the core i.e. the developed
countries against the periphery or the Third World countries, and
between the developed and prosperous and the undeveloped and
impoverished areas within the same country. Most of the Third
World countries are trying to ape the industrial development of the
First World, without realising the unique inhibitions that they have
to counter in terms of trade, technology and trained manpower bias.
The processes that they are undergoing were never encountered
by the developed countries on account of their being the colonisers
and, therefore, the residual colonialism in the form of a huge income
gap between the rich and the poor and a non-inclusive and lopsided
development has stirred up a latent anger within a huge section of
the population. Coupled with a parasitic and ever encroaching social
media network, fiery preachers, and a distorted view of government
policies, the stage is set for more violent manifestations of this latent
anger, now under the facade of religion. An apt example for the
second point is the case of Southern France which is an immigrant
heavy area of the country, and where immigrants, especially from
Morocco and Algeria, have been discriminated against for long.
Cities such as Marseilles have been marked as being the most violent
in Europe due to the preponderance of unemployed, discriminated
against, and proselytised, immigrants.78
y Media Morality and Perception: The media has become the moralist
of today’s age. In its various avatars such as print, television, cable,
magazines, social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter et al and
massive online video directories, it has bombarded the senses of human
beings with an incessant flow of information and data that could never
be accessed by a single person even in his/ her entire lifetime. Along with
information comes opinion, biased and not necessarily backed by relevant
facts, and heavily dependent on rhetoric. Unfortunately, preconceived
notions of the objectivity of the media have enabled media powerhouses
to transmit an array of opinions purporting to be facts and reportage,
thereby diluting and disrupting the decision-making processes of the
audience. Through a host of talk shows, documentaries, photographs,
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monographs, articles, essays, hate propaganda, audio clippings and songs,
the media has twisted reality, shaped views of the past and sometimes
the past itself, and has declared itself to be the moral minder of the whole
world. Region-specific media agencies have built up their local narratives,
focussing on their particular geographical area, however, when coalesced,
two contradictory pictures have come to the fore. For the West, whole
religions have been equated to being terrorist breeders, while the
hypocrisy of their own invasions is sidelined. Though lone wolf attacks
have occurred on Western soil besides the ones mentioned above that
involved various ideologies such as white supremacism, Semite militarism
and the likes, most of those perpetrators have been painted as mentally
unstable so as to delink the man and his ideology from his act.79 The same
courtesy has not been extended to other communities. On the other
hand, generally for the rest of the world, and for some communities
in particular, a narrative is being spun, that of the victimisation of a
religious group. All Islamist extremist groups, with the assistance of the
media, are weaving narratives of Western imperialism in the case of
‘white skinned foreigners’ or Western-backed dictators in case the regime/
government heads are from their own skin colour, trying to drown out
an Islamic culture, by painting a war of civilisations: the West v/s Islam.
Media propaganda, by flashing pictures of killed children, severed limbs,
decapitated heads and superimposing the greed and callousness of the
West over the tragedy, has created a powerful culture of centrality and
unity for the victimised ‘ummah’ and elevated the importance of religion
in their eyes. A vicious cycle has emerged. Anti-terror agencies are using
all their power to eliminate terror by targeting extremists, resulting in
violence; this violence is then being used as a counter propaganda by
the same extremists to showcase the devious nature of the ‘white man’,
resulting in more followers.
y Globalisation: The New World Order, marked by the end of the Cold
War era, has witnessed major upheavals in large parts of the world.
Dichotomies have ruled the roost. While on the one hand, nationalistidentity linked movements have ripped apart fabrics of pre-existing
states such as the demand for Kurdistan from parts of Iran, Turkey,
Syria and Iraq, Uighur separation from China, and South Sudan from
Sudan, on the other, religious-identity linked movements such as the Al
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Qaeda and the ISIS have tried to merge together existing states in their
dream of a global Caliphate. Divergence and convergence are occurring
simultaneously. In conjunction with the rhetoric about a global culture
that is increasingly seen as Western and threatening to inundate the
traditional mores of different societies, ease of movement of people
between countries, perceived usurpation of jobs and livelihood by other
nationalities, people have sought the protective comfort of their own
affiliated groups, all imagined but some manifested physically in forms
of ethnic, religious, social or gender-based groups and others in the
forms of digital relations. These digital relations have been amplified by
globalisation. Globalisation has led to an increasingly connected world,
which has brought common opinions across the world onto a single
platform, linking people to a common cause for the good of society such
as Avaaz80 and #Bringbackourgirls,81 or on the downside enabling al-Awlaki
to widen his madrassa-limited audience to anyone who would listen in
the entire world. It has also enabled extremist groups to propagate Do it
Tourself (DIY) bomb-making procedures such as AQAP’s online magazine
Inspire, one issue of which had the headline ‘HOW TO MAKE A BOMB
82’ Online recruiters have played on
these culture-threatening vulnerabilities by highlighting the injustice
done to these communities by the supposedly democratic governments,
thereby deepening the chasm of doubt and suspicion. Virtual trust has
weaponised the angst and frustration of a number of educated youth
who view globalisation as having been unequal and impoverishing rather
than the miracle it claims to be.
Short-term solutions to counter lone wolf terrorism is what anti-terror
agencies are currently following, which is a two-pronged approach. The
first prong involves targeting prospective and suspected lone wolf terrorists
by way of ‘profiling’ and masquerading as terrorists themselves to win the
trust of the would-be lone wolf, and enticing him to divulge information
regarding his plans. These actions have had limited yet effective success in
avoiding major attacks on important landmarks and cities, examples of which
have been discussed earlier. The second prong has been an effort by various
governments and heads of states to dissuade the youth from joining the ranks
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of extremist organisations, and not to indulge in acts of terror, through use
of the social media such as Twitter handles and Facebook pages such as @
ThinkAgain_DOS run by the US government’s Global Engagement Centre
(GEC).83 These efforts, however, have proved quite ineffective in dealing with
the torrent of propaganda dumped by the ISIS everyday on the internet and
lapped up by thousands, if not millions. With the ISIS’ real estate shrinking
every day, an increased focus on social media platforms is likely–one which
would focus on creating more lone wolf terrorists. In view of the various
causative and structural factors discussed, the following long-term solutions
can be particularised and adapted to local conditions in order to reduce the
probability of lone wolf terrorism.
y Countering of Narrative: Surprisingly, against the tirades of figures
such as Anwar al Awlaki and Jihadi John, the voices of reason have been
generally silent, in the physical as well as the digital world. The ‘jihadi cool’
attitude fostered and tempered by the ISIS through its videos and stills,
as well as the victimisation narrative has to be countered effectively. This
can be done only by the local preachers and community leaders who,
by way of their standing in the community and consequent moral high
ground, can wean the youth away from proselytisers and extremist ideas.
Similarly, the online battle of the social media has to be fought using the
Twitter profiles and gravatars of local leaders and influential personalities
of a particular community whose links with the West or the supposedly
imperialist countries of the extremist propaganda, have to be shown as
being non-existent. The language and semantics of the narrative have
to be local. The resistance against the extremist, especially the ISIS,
propaganda, and the spinning of a counter-narrative has to delink itself
from any governmental or external, especially Western backed, effort,
in any form.
y Inclusive and Integrative Policies: There is a need for governments
to have a relook at their economic and social policies. A conscious effort
has to be put in to ensure a more equitable, integrative and inclusive
development process. The idea of ‘separateness’ grows stronger when
distinguishing factors such as race, ethnicity, religion are supplemented
by unequal development, which can be exploited by a number of agencies
to promote numerous agendas. Directives, aimed at a perceived cultural
more of a particular community, need to be endorsed by the relevant
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community leaders publicly and not applied or declared unilaterally
in the name of secularism. The ban on the wearing of hijab in France,
though ostensibly to promote gender equality and inhibit an evil practice
of discrimination against women, was viewed as an assault on the
religious sentiments of the huge Muslim population in the country. Mohd
Merah’s lone wolf attack was ostensibly against this policy. Globalisation,
in terms of a prevailing pop and American dominated culture has been
seen as promoting a culture that promotes inequality and accumulation
of wealth, all the while assaulting and invading other communities whose
point of view and way of living may be at odds with it.
y Cultural Sensitisation of the Media: Western media tends to
portray stereotypical versions of members of particular communities
and all incidents and news tend to be filtered through a ‘racial profiling’
lens. This is true not just for the television news media but the more
freelance social media. Pre-conceived notions of the Middle East being
a violent region, or killings being frequent, is one of the main reasons
why the latest suicide car-bomb attack in Baghdad which killed more
than 200 people went relatively unnoticed as against the Istanbul airport
bombing or the Paris terror attacks last year.84 Cultural insensitivity or
rather over-sensitivity against a particular religion or race may result in
a feeling of being singled out each and every time a terror attack occurs
anywhere. This leads to segregation and further anger which may be
directed by online videos and religious figures into action. There have
to be discussions with the media, both on and off the air, to help learn
about the sensitivities of other cultures. Portrayal by the media, whether
good or bad, aids in forming opinions about groups based on the actions
of a few individuals. Hate crimes against a particular community need
to be labelled as terror attacks, notwithstanding the racial, ethnic or
religious make-up of the perpetrator. Dylan Roof’s attacks were passed
off as the acts of a psychotic individual,85 while similar leeway was not
given to Jose Pimentel who was classified as a lone wolf, despite suffering
from a mental disorder. Not correctly labelling an attack is as grievous a
crime as the act itself and the media needs to be held responsible.
y Foreign Policies of Western Countries: Introspection has to be
carried out by the leadership of countries such as the US, France, UK
about their hypocritical actions. While the leaders at various echelons
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of the countries are adept at the rhetoric of democracy, free will, laissez
faire and upholding of human rights, this is not matched by their actions
on the ground such as unilaterally and wilfully ignoring the sovereign
borders of countries such as Pakistan, Somalia, Iraq and Syria, to name
a few, conducting drone strikes resulting in massive collateral damage
(euphemism for civilian deaths), conducting covert operations on
foreign soil, including assassinations and sabotage.86 Targeting and killing
terrorists on foreign soil has, on the one hand decimated the leadership
of extremist organisations such as Al Qaeda, but, on the other, given an
excuse to these very organisations to recruit an ever growing number
of potential cadres, thereby sustaining a vicious cycle of annihilation
and regeneration. Videos and news articles about these almost regular
killings and assassinations have been used by various organisations to
recruit individuals to these causes, and not just illiterate or unemployed
individuals as shown by the conventional media narrative, but successful
and educated young men, aggrieved by these atrocities. These countries
have also maintained more-than-cordial relations with Saudi Arabia, a
known promoter of Wahhabi extremism around the world. In spite of
its dismal record on human rights such as its continuing barbaric practice
of beheading and limb-amputation, its representative has recently been
made head of the Human Rights Council of the UN.
87 There needs to be
sea change in the foreign policies of these countries that have to realise
that they cannot bomb, maim, torture or kill their way to a solution.
An intra-politico-religious struggle for one upmanship in the Middle
East, manifested as a struggle between the Saudi led monarchies and
the Shia dominated Iranian bloc, has seen the major Western powers
lining up behind the Sunni faction, spurred by the 1979 break between
the Iranian theocracy and the Americans. An unfortunate blowback of
the meddlesome and double-dealing policies of the US, UK and France
has been the disintegration of states like Iraq, Syria and Libya, and
the infestation of various extremist groups, some under the facade of
‘moderate’ rebels, supported by these Western powers while others as
extremists such as the ISIS or Daesh, Nusra Front, Ahrar al Sham and the
like.88 The Western countries need to reconsider their interventionist
policies in the Middle East and disengage from the region as subtly as
possible. Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, needs to be ostracised for its
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behaviour and not rewarded with ironic nominations in the world body
y Shifting of Affiliations: As mentioned earlier, the two simultaneous
processes of convergence in the form of religious movements and
divergence in the form of ethno-nationalism are the result of the
globalisation process in the wake of the New World Order in the
post Cold War world. Both promote divisiveness, one reinforcing
commonality, and the other, differentiation. However, in the present
times, it has become critical to choose between the lesser of these two
evils. States, despite the critique of the neo-liberals or the anarchists
or any of their mid-variants, are here to stay. The structure of the
state has become so enmeshed with the lives of human beings that
the coerciveness of its institutions has been almost taken for granted.
Nationalisms, especially ethno-nationalisms are structure-focussed and
though many have involved bitter protracted struggles, with colossal loss
of lives, still have a concrete end game in sight which is temporal in nature.
The conflict over land, political autonomy between the parent-state and
the emergent state-to-be can be resolved by various conflict-resolution
mechanisms. Religious movements, on the other hand, by purporting to
be all encompassing and spiritual in nature, do not allow such discretions
to come into play. It is either a case of all or nothing. Religious fervour,
for establishing a Kingdom of God, whether a Caliphate or various
unsuccessful preacher-led militant commercial religions of the US, has
usually ended in mass casualties due to the refusal of the adherents to
accommodate or even consider an alternative. It is also comparatively
easier to incite an individual by appealing to his/her sense of spiritual
righteousness by pointing out alien attempts at desecration of his/her
god. Therefore, it is pertinent that any attempt at a religious incitement
be diverted towards a nationalist based one, if not thwarted completely.
Counter-narratives, especially in the form of nationalist sentiments, have
to be promoted as against religion based ones in order to subsume
sentiments under a political organisation rather than a proselytising one.
At the end, it would suffice to say that the phenomenon of lone wolf
terrorism is not a new one. Post Cold War, it can be said to have started
from the Oklahoma City bombing in 1993 and has continued with the recent
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Orlando Club shooting of 2016. From Timothy McVeigh to Omar Mateen89,
the scale, intensity and frequency of attacks have changed, varied with time
and location, with the acts becoming more bold with time, resulting in more
casualties. However, the post 9/11 lone wolf attacks cannot be said to have
occurred in a vacuum. The structural factors mentioned above have slowly
shaped the landscape where lone wolf attacks were a given. The recent
Bangladesh attacks90 and the truck related killings of 84 people in Nice on
Bastille Day in France91 just drive home the fact that the frequency of lone
wolf attacks has increased exponentially and will continue to do so unless
a long-term plan to counter them is evolved. These attacks increased in
frequency due to the surprising growth of the internet, especially the social
media. However, their counter has to simultaneously focus on a number of
fields, social media rebuttal being one of them. This has to be supplemented
by community leadership and mentoring, change in the foreign policies of the
Western countries, inclusive and equitable development by own governments
and, most importantly, a rehabilitation programme for anyone returning from
Iraq or Syria so as to ease his entry back into the normal world.
1. Joint Pub 3-07.2, “Antiterrorism,” US Department of Defense(DoD) dated November 24,
2. “Lone Wolf (Terrorism),” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lone_Wolf_(terrorism).htm.
3. Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn and Edwin Bakker, “Personal Characteristics of Lone-Actor
Terrorists,” Countering Lone Actor Terrorism Series, No 5, Policy Paper 1, http://www.
4. Prof Mark Hamm, http://nij.ncjrs.gov/multimedia/transcripts/video-hamm-transcript.htm.
5. “Rafaelo Pantucci,” http://icsr.info/wp-content/uploads/2012/10/1302002992ICSRPaper_
6. Jason Bourke, The New Threat from Islamic Militancy (2015), pp. 164-165.
7. Ibid.
8. Joseph Lieberman and Susan Collins, “Violent Islamist Extremism, the Internet, and the
Homegrown Terrorist Threat”, Majority and Minority Staff Report by United States
Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, May 08, 2008.
9. Ibid.
10. Ibid.
11. Report by Human Rights Watch, https://www.hrw.org/reports/2002/us911/USA0802-01.htm.
12. “Targeting Blacks: Drug Law Enforcement and Race in the United States,” Human Rights
Watch Report, https://www.hrw.org/reports/2008/us0508/.
13. “Toulouse and Montauban Shootings,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toulouse_and_
14. Ibid.
15. Paul Cruickshank and Tim Lister, “How did Mohammed Merah become a Jihadist?”, http://
c1, March 26, 2012.
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16. Ibid.
17. “Rotten Heart of Europe”, http://foreignpolicy.com/2016/03/23/the-rotten-heart-ofeurope-belgium-attacks-abdeslam-molenbeek/.
18. “Obituary: Toulouse Gunman Mohamed Merah”, http://www.bbc.com/news/worldeurope-17456541, March 22, 2012.
19. Interview with Ebba Kalando, editor, France 24, to whom Merah confessed his killings.
Interview embedded in http://edition.cnn.com/2012/03/21/world/europe/france-shootingsuspect-profile/ .
20. Cruickshank and Lister, n. 15.
21. “Faisal Shehzad”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faisal_Shahzad.
22. “2011 Frankfurt Airport Shooting”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Frankfurt_Airport_
23. “We Shall Meet At Dabiq”, Dabiq, the online ISIS magazine, Issue 13, “The Rafidah”, p. 9.
24. “Anders Behring Breivik”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anders_Behring_Breivik.
25. “2014 Shootings at Parliament Hill, Ottawa”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2014_shootings_
26. Connor Simpson, “Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, College Weed Dealer”, The Wire, www.thewire.
com/national/2013/04/dzhokhar-tsarnaev-dealingdrugs/64529/, April 24, 2013.
27. Ibid.
28. “Amine El Khalifi,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amine_El_Khalifi.
29. n. 21.
30. Lorraine Adams and Ayesha Nair, “Inside the Mind of the Times Square Bomber”, http://
www.theguardian.com/world/2010/sep/19/times-square-bomber, September 19, 2010.
31. “Maryland Man Charged in Plot to Attack Armed Forces Recruiting Center”, http://edition.
32. http://www.adl.org/combating-hate/international-extremism-terrorism/c/profile-yonathanmelaku.html.
33 .http://criminalminds.wikia.com/wiki/John_Allen_Muhammad_and_Lee_Boyd_Malvo.
34. “How A Public Schoolboy Became A Terrorist”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/
35. http://politicalscience.osu.edu/faculty/jmueller/45ABDO7.pdf.
36. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2011/nov/21/jose-pimentel-bomb-suspect-fbi.
37. n. 18.
38. “Nidal Hasan,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nidal_Hasan.htm
39. n. 18.
40. “Little Rock Recruiting Office Shooting,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_Little_Rock_
41. “Soldier Killed at Arkansas Army Recruiting Center, Update: On July 25, 2011, Muhammad
pleaded guilty to charges of murder and attempted murder and was sentenced to life
without the possibility of parole”, http://archive.adl.org/main_terrorism/arkansas_army_
42. https://www.fbi.gov/dallas/press-releases/2011/dl022411.htm.
43. “Uncomfortable Truths of the Times Square Attack”, https://www.stratfor.com/
44. http://www.latimes.com/local/california/la-me-san-bernardino-shooting-terrorinvestigation-htmlstory.html.
45. Tim Franks, “Dagestan and the Tsarnaev Brothers: The Radicalisation Risk”, BBC World
Service, Makhachkala, www.bbc.com/news/magazine-23004244.htm, June 24, 2013.
46. “Stockholm Bomber Family Blame Britain for Radicalisation”, http://www.telegraph.co.uk/
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47. http://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/12/stockholm-suicide-bomber-profile.
48. “Baruch Goldstein”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baruch_Goldstein.
49. n. 38.
50. “Boston Marathon Bombing”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Marathon_
51. n. 25.
52. “2015 San Bernandino Attack”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2015_San_Bernardino_attack.
53. n. 28.
54. “Sweden Suicide Bomber Taimur Abdulwahab al Abdaly was Living in Britain”, http://www.
55. “Jose Pimentel”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jose_Pimentel.
56. “Arid Uka”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arid_Uka.
57. Ernest Gellner, Nations and Nationalism (1983), pp. 57-58.
58. Lieberman and Collins, n. 8, May 08, 2008.
59. Ibid.
60. Ibid.
61. Dr Christina Schori Lang, “Cyber Jihad: Understanding and Countering Islamic State
Propaganda”, GCSP Policy Paper 2015/2- February 2015, Geneva Centre for Security
Policy, www.gcsp.ch/download/2763/72138.pdf.
62. Ibid.
63. Ibid.
64. Ibid.
65. Ibid.
66. Charlie Winter, “The Virtual ‘Caliphate’: Understanding Islamic State’s Propaganda
Strategy”, Quilliam Foundation, https://www.quilliamfoundation.org/wp/wp-content/
67. Ibid.
68. Schori Lang, n. 61.
69. Ibid.
70. “Soviet-Afghan War,” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soviet-Afghan_War.htm.
71. Jamie Tarabay, “How the Afghan Jihad Went Global”, Aljazeera America, america.aljazeera.
72. “Afghan Civil War (1989-92)”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afghan_Civil_War_(1989-92).
73. Yousaf Butt, “How Saudi Wahhabism Is the Fountainhead of Islamist Terrorism”,
Huffington Post, www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-yousaf-butt-/saudi-wahhabism-islamterrorism_b_6501916.html, January 20, 2015.
74. Allan Hall, “Saudi Offer to Build 200 Mosques in Germany for Syrian Migrants is Slammed
as ‘Cynical’ because the Kingdom has not Offered to Take Any Refugee Themselves”,
Mail Online, www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3242354/Saudi-offer-build-200-mosquesGermany-Syrian-migrants-slammed-cynical-Kingdom-not-offered-refugees-themselves.
htm, September 20, 2015.
75. Declan Walsh, “Wikileaks Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists”,
The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2010/dec/05/wikileaks-cables-sauditerrorist-funding.htm, December 05, 2010.
76. Butt, n. 73.
77. Benjamin Teryima Ashaver, “Poverty, Inequality and Underdevelopment in Third World
Countries: Bad State Policies or Bad Global Rules?”, Department of Political Science Benue
State University, Makurdi-Nigeria, IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science, Volume
15, Issue 6 (Sep – Oct 2013) pp 33-38.
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78. Daniel Greenfield, “French City with 40% Muslim Population is the Most Dangerous City
in Europe”, Frontpage Mag, www.frontpagemag.com/point/214086/french-city-40-muslimpopulation-most-dangerous-daniel-greenfield.htm, January 04, 2014.
79. Anthea Butler, “Shooters of Color are Called ‘Terrorists’ and ‘Thugs’. Why are White
Shooters called ‘Mentally Ill’?”, The Washington Post, https://www.washingtonpost.com/
June 18, 2015.
80. “Avaaz: The World in Action”, https://secure.avaaz.org/en/.
81. Twitter, https://twitter.com/hashtag/bringbackourgirls?lang=en.htm.
82. Robert Spencer, “Al-Qaeda’s new “Inspire” mag: “How to Make a Bomb in the Kitchen
of your Mom”’, Jihad Watch, https://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/07/al-qaedas-new-inspiremag-how-to-make-a-bomb-in-the-kitchen-of-your-mom.htm, July 01, 2010.
83. Asawin Suebsang, Mother Jones, “The State Department Is Actively Trolling Terrorists on
Twitter”, www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/02/state-department-cscc-troll-terroriststwitter-think-again-turn-away.htm, March 05, 2014.
84. Nesrine Malik, “Why do Deaths in Paris get More Attention than Deaths in Beirut?’, The
Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/18/deaths-paris-beirutmedia.htm, November 18, 2015.
85. Butler, n. 79.
86. TJ Petrowski, “The Refugee Crisis is a Crisis of Imperialism”, Counterpunch, www.
counterpunch.org/2015/09/11/the-refugee-crisis-is-a-crisis-of-imperialism.htm, September
11, 2015.
87. Salil Tripathi, “Why is Saudi Arabia Heading a UN Human Rights Council Panel”, The
Daily Beast, www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/22/why-is-saudi-arabia-heading-theun-human-rights-council.html, September 23, 2015.
88. Seumas Milne, “Now the Truth Emerges: How the US Fuelled the Rise of ISIS in Syria
and Iraq”, The Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/jun/03/us-isissyria-iraq.htm, June 03, 2015.
89. “Omar Mateen”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omar_Mateen.htm.
90. “July 2016 Dhaka Attack”, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/July_2016_Dhaka_attack.htm.
91. Alan Yuhas, Matthew Weaver, Bonnie Malkin and Kevin Rawlinson, “Nice Attack: Truck
Driver Named as France Mourns 84 Killed in Bastille Day Atrocity: As it Happened”, The
Guardian, https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2016/jul/14/nice-bastille-day-franceattack-promenade-des-anglais-vehicle.htm.

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