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End of the Lone Wolf: The Typology that Should Not Have Been

Schuurman, B; Lindekilde, L; Malthaner, S; O'Connor, F; Gill, P; Bouhana, N; (2019) End of the Lone Wolf: The Typology that Should Not Have Been. Studies in Conflict and Terrorism , 42 (8) pp. 771-778. 10.1080/1057610X.2017.1419554. Green open access

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Abstract

This research note argues that the “lone wolf” typology should be fundamentally reconsidered. Based on a three-year empirical research project, two key points are made to support this argument. First, the authors found that ties to online and offline radical milieus are critical to lone actors' adoption and maintenance of both the motive and capability to commit acts of terrorism. Second, in terms of pre-attack behaviors, the majority of lone actors are not the stealthy and highly capable terrorists the “lone wolf” moniker alludes to. These findings not only urge a reconsideration of the utility of the lone-wolf concept, they are also particularly relevant for counterterrorism professionals, whose conceptions of this threat may have closed off avenues for detection and interdiction that do, in fact, exist.

Type: Article
Title: End of the Lone Wolf: The Typology that Should Not Have Been
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/1057610X.2017.1419554
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/1057610X.2017.1419554
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2018 The Author(s). Published with license by Taylor & Francis. Copyright © Bart Schuurman, Lasse Lindekilde, Stefan Malthaner, Francis O'Connor, Paul Gill and Noémie Bouhana. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10040525
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