Beware the Lone Wolf Radicals
From the page: “AFTER Anders Breivik killed 77 people in Norway on 22 July, analysts pinned responsibility on everything from liberal attitudes towards extremists to anti-Muslim bigotry.
This is a common reaction after seemingly inexplicable mass murders. Similar socio-political explanations followed Timothy McVeigh’s bombing of the Oklahoma City Federal Building in 1995, Theodore “Unabomber” Kaczynski’s anti-technology mail-bomb campaign in the US from 1978 to 1995, and Eric Rudolph’s crusade against American abortion clinics, which he kicked off by detonating a bomb at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Unfortunately, these explanations don’t add up. Unlike the vast majority of Islamic terrorists of recent years, these home-grown killers were largely acting alone, and the atrocities they perpetrated can be tied to their personal psychology.
In 2001, during my 23-year stint as an FBI special agent, my colleagues and I looked into what Kaczynski, McVeigh and Rudolph had in common. The results were startling. All three were highly intelligent and well educated, with no previous history of criminal violence. But they all shared a profound inability to forge meaningful relationships.
This sets them apart from the thousands of radicals who are members of extremist groups and who never commit serious acts of violence. For such people, simply belonging to an organisation appears to satisfy their need to express their views. Kaczynski, McVeigh and Rudolph, on the other hand, were all repeatedly unable to connect socially to the groups whose ideology they shared. Instead, they resorted to carnage on a wide scale to grab the attention they craved.
Breivik, who was socially isolated and shunned by the extremist groups he courted, is a prime example of this dynamic. There are bound to be others like him, and it should not be beyond intelligence services to sniff them out. They could start by looking for people who have made unsuccessful attempts to connect with other radicals. As we now know, their failure to find a voice can prove lethal.”