The lethality of lone-wolf terrorism has reached an all-time high in the United States. Isolated individuals using firearms with high-capacity magazines are committing brutally efficient killings with the aim of terrorizing others, yet there is little consensus on what connects these crimes and the motivations behind them. In The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism, terrorism experts Mark S. Hamm and Ramon Spaaij combine criminological theory with empirical and ethnographic research to map the pathways of lone-wolf radicalization, helping with the identification of suspected behaviors and recognizing patterns of indoctrination. Reviewing comprehensive data on these actors, including more than two hundred terrorist incidents, Hamm and Spaaij find that a combination of personal and political grievances lead lone wolves to befriend online sympathizers-whether jihadists, white supremacists, or other antigovernment extremists-and then announce their intent to commit terror when triggered. Hamm and Spaaij carefully distinguish between lone wolves and individuals radicalized within a group dynamic.
This important difference is what makes this book such a significant manual for professionals seeking richer insight into the transformation of alienated individuals into armed warriors. Hamm and Spaaij conclude with an analysis of recent FBI sting operations designed to prevent lone-wolf terrorism in the United States, describing who gets targeted, strategies for luring suspects, and the ethics of arresting and prosecuting citizens.
Mark S. Hamm is a professor of criminology at Indiana State University and a senior research fellow at the Terrorism Center, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York. His books include Terrorism as Crime: From Oklahoma City to Al-Qaeda and Beyond (2007) and The Spectacular Few: Prisoner Radicalization and the Evolving Terrorist Threat (2013). Ramon Spaaij is a sociologist based at Victoria University and the University of Amsterdam. His books include Understanding Football Hooliganism (2006), Understanding Lone Wolf Terrorism: Global Patterns, Motivation, and Prevention (2012), and Sport and Social Exclusion in Global Society (2014).
Foreword Introduction: The Age of Lone Wolf Terrorism 1. Identifying Commonalities Among Lone Wolf Terrorists 2. Old Wine in New Skin: Reimagining Lone Wolf Terrorism 3. The American Lone Wolf Terrorist: Trends, Modus Operandi, and Background Factors 4. The Roots of Radicalization 5. The Enablers 6. Broadcasting Intent: The Key to Preventing Lone Wolf Terrorism 7. Triggering Events 8. The Radicalization Model of Lone Wolf Terrorism 9. The Little Rock Military Shooting 10. The Pittsburgh Police Shooting 11. Lone Wolf Sting Operations 12. Lone Wolf Terrorism and FBI Mythmaking Conclusion: Countering Lone Wolf Terrorism Appendix: List of Cases Notes Index