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Threats faced by lon- wolf attackers around the world


Lone wolf attack

Let us understand what is a lone wolf attack. Before we understand this. When you look at the terrorist organization, have a hierarchy in this hierarchy, the leader who is leading this organization. There are a couple of people who also follow the leader and his actions.  This terrorist organization also has an objective. It might be political or it can be economical, or it can be religious as well. So this is an agenda, an agenda of political in nature, economic in nature, or it can be religious, and it can also be a combination of all these things. So what have in a terrorist organization. These couple of people have a hierarchic structure, following the commands of the leader. This is how the terrorist organization runs, they have an objective, they have a goal, and they have to meet this particular agenda.

 Now, what is a lone-wolf attack as the name denotes it is a single person, carrying out an attack that is not affiliated to an organization. He is not affiliated with any organization. He does not take any commands from the leader. He has no link to this hierarchy, or he does not fall to any of these agendas of this political organization, but instead have is this person is inspired by the videos of this organization. He has taken inspiration from this organizational setup, and he on his own, without the commands of the terrorist organization initiates, an attack against the society. So, in a terrorist organization, have a hierarchical structure where people take command from the organization, but in a lone wolf attack, inspired on his own. Because of that particular organization's ideology or the agenda, but he does not take any command from this terrorist organization. So any person who acts on his own, without any orders, or even connections to that terrorist organization, or it might be an organization for that matter, is what is called a lone wolf attack which means he's inspired on his own, because of videos that are present somewhere, and he ensures that he conducts an activity, which is against the society, so he does not receive orders direction, or any material support from a person group, or a network. So how does the attack of carrying out these activities? The attacker can use the vehicles to run over the people he can also use the knife to butcher people, or he can use guns to kill people, as well. Let us understand what is the difference between a sleeper shell and a lone wolf attack sleeper shells is affiliated to an organization, let's suppose there is a terrorist organization like Al Qaeda. So what happens this Al Qaeda, has sleeper shells, which means they are the ones who are present in the society. They are completely dormant, they do not have any activities that they are conducting currently, but when told by that organization. These dormant people or individuals who are not active immediately become active. So there is an order, there is a directive, there are some directions that are issued by an organization who is currently active in the future will become active in the present scenario, a sleeper cell means that who's attached to a particular organization, but in case of a lone wolf attacker. It is self-activation, that takes place when this person inflicts massive pain in society. What is the agenda of these lone-wolf attackers? Why do they hurt society, or what could be the goals and objectives that they want to meet? When you look at the agenda, it might be political in nature, or they might be religiously motivated is when they aim to influence the public opinion and also bring about large scale political decision making as well. Attacks may also sometimes happen because of anger towards the society, there might be something, an incident, or there might be a scenario, which has gone against your ethos. This also triggers them, and it also instigates them to conduct such activities. So what would happen? They would threaten the people intimidate the people and start shooting people and even start bombing people to meet their agenda. It can be political, it can be religiously motivated, or they might out their anger against society because of the social scene that is prevalent in society. This raises a couple of concerns. What are these concerns? When you look at the normally terrorist organization, they have the leader, they have the people. And they also know what is their agenda is, but when it comes to the lone wolf attacker. There are a couple of concerns, which the intelligence agencies, the law enforcement agencies like the police officers are not able to understand, that is the primary concern. Let's try and understand, look at the organizational structure, we know, Al Qaeda, you know where its funding comes from, who are the people attached to it, and you know how these types of people are actively engaged in this activity. But when it comes to the lone wolf attack. You have no information about the people there are thousands and thousands of videos that are present online. We have no idea how these people get instigated or what they post videos, they're watching. So first of all, these are the solitary actors, whose intentions are unclear. So because they have no contact with the people because they are not directly connected to this organization structure. This is the primary reason the enforcement agencies, as well as the intelligence agencies, find it very difficult to identify these people. Secondly, it is very hard to predict, from where they are alienated why they are frustrated and they also come up from different types of backgrounds. When it comes to a political organization, wanting to achieve a political agenda. You know what is your objective, so you would be able to decipher what could be the possible action. If it is a religious activity, you know, where could be their launchpads, but when it comes to these types of people you don't know what type of backgrounds, they come from, they might be politically agitated, or there might be religious extremists. We have no idea what these people are from, are they going against the people or a particular school or a particular section or caste or religion. We have no idea. So, because they are frustrated at different levels in society, identifying the background becomes very difficult. Thirdly, it becomes very difficult for the police officer to find a distinction between those who are extremists, and those who are acting like extremists. Let give you an example, there might be a scholar, he might be having these vocal views are getting some perspectives in society. So he's acting as an extremist, but he's not an extremist, but there might be a person who is indirectly conducting all these activities in secrecy clandestinely, and he is conducting in this case manner, and it is he who is an extremist, but he's not acting as an extremist, this is where its distinction between an extremist and who's acting as an extremist is very difficult for the police officers to find out.Finally, what we have is the copycat behavior when there is an accomplishment of a particular attack. some people are inspired by this, some individuals take inspiration from this attack, and this may post, the number of attacks shortly. These are some of the concerns and problems concerning the lone wolf attacks, but these lone-wolf attackers also face some difficulty is well, what do we have in a terrorist organization is what is called as attack cycle. What is an attack cycle, you have the number of people who are present, while activity is being conducted, so this will require money. This will require equipment. This will require activation of the number of people, the same cannot happen with this particular lone wolf attack which means this person has to conduct, all these activities, and he has no support unpacking from any religious organization. So an attack cycle, which is present in the terrorist organization, everything will have to be done by a single person when all this was being done, there is a possibility that the intelligence agencies, at the police officer, would be able to catch this particular person. The same can not be attributed to a terrorist organization why, because you have the number of people raising the contact might become difficult for the enforcement agencies, followed by this, what we have is the lack of knowledge, by this person, he might be agitated, he might be in tension or he might be frustrated against the society. So he wants to conduct a particular activity, which goes against the society. This will require little bombing for that matter. When such an activity is being conducted. He has to know where to procure these goods from, how to conduct these activities, which he may not have the knowledge, but when it comes to the organizational setup, you will have a huge amount of money at the organizational support that particular cause, but when it comes to the lone wolf attack, the same cannot be said, and that is the reason he lacks the knowledge. So these are some of the challenges concerning the lone-wolf attack. Now that we have understood all these discrepancies, we have to ensure that such lone-wolf attacks do not happen shortly. So what do we do, how do we overcome this? This is where the government will have to step up its apparatus, the government will have to identify all the lone wolf attacks and study, a pattern, they have to ensure that this study this particular person, and compare it with other countries as well. So once they can decipher decrypt what type of political or religious agenda is present. The same can also be taken up by building a counter-narrative. So the government will have to run a counter-narrative dismantling this entire system, bringing many religious leaders political leaders, who had tried to influence their thought process. And ultimately, the government, the security agencies need to adopt a multi-pronged approach towards radicalization, which is anchored in human intelligence strong ties with the communities, community leaders at the government will have to conduct the D radicalization programs.

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