Security officials have spent at least 50 years shaping law enforcement tools around the assumption that terrorism is at least cell-based with chains of command. But disrupting group dynamics, infiltrating organisations and exploiting weak links in a longer chain suddenly appear redundant in the fight against isolated individuals, who might never even have met a fellow believer.
Instead, the Breiviks of the world engage in extreme "narrowcasting", visiting the same websites day after day, encountering little that challenges their worldview.That sounds rather….familiar! Read a lot of CiF comment threads, have you, Matthew?
He admired the Oklahoma bomber, Timothy McVeigh, and Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik…Which is bad. Very bad.
On the other hand, admiring Che or the likes of William Ayers or the Reverend Wright, that’s good, and what every good progressive should do.
This is why, this week, one of the UK's most senior security officials has warned about the lone wolf threat, claiming activists driven by a hatred of immigrants and Muslims are often more skilled in using explosives, harder to track, and not constrained by the weaknesses that undermine groups.So we should all panic. Apparently.