posted on Dec, 5 2011 @ 12:35 PM
Discuss lone wolves in this topic.
What are the incentives for there to be lone wolves in america?
Lone wolfs do indeed represent a significant threat to national security that is arguably the most difficult to combat in terms of counterterrorism.
The problem lies mainly with the true lone wolfs, these are individuals who are typically radicalised by their own interpretation of the world around
them who arrive at the conclusion that violence is the only way to bring about the change they are seeking. The advent of the internet makes these
people even more dangerous, they have the ability to be radicalised through the medium of the internet but also educate themselves appropriately to
conduct a successful terrorism operation.
What makes the lone wolf most dangerous however is anonymity, they will almost always have no link to any known terrorist group that will red flag
them with the intelligence services. Their anonymity also provides them with cover for their attacks, they typically blend in with the native
population, have local knowledge, and can plan and conduct their attacks with massive effect and leaving almost no evidence that the intelligence
community can use to pre-empt their attacks. Although limited in the magnitude of their attack they can engage in operations such as assassinations,
a mass shooting, bombings and cyber-terrorism depending on their skill set. However all would be more effective if these attacks were conducted by a
group of terrorists rather than a lone wolf.
And they do have some other limitations, mainly the availability of resources, lone wolfs by definition have to fund, train and supply themselves in
order to achieve their goals. They will almost always have no other support other and as a result are limited in their knowledge and they may make
mistakes. Acting as a lone wolf also limits the nature of their terrorist attack, they will find It very difficult to conduct a hijacking, hostage
taking, synchronised attacks or any CBRN attacks.
The OP specifically ask’s about the effect of these lone wolfs on America, I would point out to the OP that America is not the only state that is at
risk of terrorism and lone wolf terrorism. Recent events this year in Norway prove that, terrorism is a global threat it is not specific to America.
Despite this however America has had previous experiences with lone wolf terrorists and the threat remains. Within America the liberal law governing
gun control would mean that in theory there is very little to prevent a lone wolf terrorist buying a gun, some ammunition and walking into a busy
shopping mall or supermarket and indiscriminately killing innocents in the name of whatever their cause may be. Such a attack would require very
little planning and provide very little opportunity for law enforcement to do disrupt the plot.