Friday, June 17, 2016

ISIS has found a way to pierce US counter-terrorism defenses

The lone wolf terrorist does not exist.

The lone wolf terrorist is a fiction.  He doesn't exist.

The reason is simple.  

People don't engage in terrorism as individuals.  They do it as part of a social group.  They need the social meaning a group provides to justify the personal risk and the act of violence.

This need for meaning may be even more true for blood and guts terrorism, given the high mortality rates and public disapproval involved. This creates achasm between cheerleading a violent cause and an actual act of terrorism. Crossing this chasm requires an extensive social investment.

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